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US FinCEN encourages financial institutions to share information to fight crime

Monday 14 December 2020 13:50 CET | News

The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has encouraged financial institutions to share customer information with one another to catch wrongdoers.

FinCEN, which is a bureau of the Treasury Department, issued a fact sheet spelling out that the 2001 Patriot Act gives institutions wide latitude in what kind of information they are permitted to share.

Overall, the sheet seemingly lowers the obstacles for further sharing of personal customer information among banks, the threshold of what qualifies as suspicious activity, and whether the entities sharing customer information even need to be financial institutions. 

Among other matters, the fact sheet clarifies that Section 314(b) of the act, and the regulations putting it into practice, ‘impose no limitations on the sharing of personally identifiable information.’ The sheet added that institutions must protect the security and confidentiality of this data and use it only for the purposes laid out in the nearly 20-year-old law, passed a month after the 9/11 attacks.

As CoinDesk suggests, the guidance is likely to chafe privacy advocates inside and outside the crypto community who are already uneasy about the honeypot of personal data that FinCEN’s suspicious activity report (SAR) database has become.


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Keywords: FinCEN, US, data sharing, Open Banking , fraud, banks, financial institution, security
Categories: Securing Transactions | Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud
Countries: United States
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Securing Transactions