Reuters reports that European Union interior ministers on Friday agreed to let the European Commission negotiate a new financial data sharing deal with added privacy provisions. Fresh EU-U.S. talks on the deal will begin in May. The so-called SWIFT agreement involves the transfer of European citizens' banking transactions to U.S. officials for counter-terrorism purposes. The European Parliament rejected a proposed accord in February due to data privacy concerns, but the new negotiations are expected to include termination rights if privacy safeguards are not respected, according to the report. The EC also wants reciprocity. Members of the European Parliament this week expressed lingering concerns about data protection, but lead EU negotiator Jonathan Faull said, "We go into this determined to negotiate an agreement which provides greater protection for the personal data of Europeans."
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