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In the wake of the European Parliament's decision on February 11 to strike down the SWIFT bank data transfer agreement, officials from the European Commission and the U.S. are now meeting in Washington, DC to begin discussing a long-term agreement, the European Voice reports. While U.S. officials contend that sharing the data will assist in the fight against terrorism, the temporary agreement had raised concerns from Members of Parliament and privacy advocates alike. MEPs ultimately voted 378 to 196 against the SWIFT deal, stating it violated "the basic principles of data-protection law." Cecilia Malmström, the European commissioner for home affairs, says that for a long-term data-sharing agreement to move forward, "very ambitious safeguards for privacy and data protection" must be included.
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