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US cleared by EU to snoop on air passengers and banking customers

EU and US negotiators have struck two deals to allow the US to snoop on air travellers and bank customers in its ongoing war on terror.

The EU and US are believed to have struck a deal on the supply and retention of air passenger data for transatlantic passengers, reports the BBC.

Details have so far not been confirmed, but it is believed the deal will allow US security agencies to keep personal data on passengers for up to 15 years, says the BBC.

After the 9/11 attacks, European airlines had to provide up to 34 pieces of information about passengers flying into the US.

The current interim data deal expires at the end of July, but a replacement deal must be approved by the 27 EU member states.

In a separate deal, EU officials approved US access to the Swift international money transfers network based in Brussels.

An earlier arrangement for US access, wanted to help prevent terrorist funding, was said to break EU privacy laws.

Banks have a September deadline to alert customers that their transactions could be scrutinised by US investigators.

The Swift deal is said to allow the US access to transactions only related to suspected terrorist operations, and the data can be held in the US for a maximum of five years, in conditions that are said to comply with EU privacy regulations.

US Homeland Security agency loses data on 100,000 employees >>

BBC: US-EU airline data accord reached >>

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