HRIF.EU success: Banks stop unlawful transaction monitoring at TMNL!

HRIF.EU success: Banks stop unlawful transaction monitoring at TMNL!

While in the press the involved banks present the decision as an autonomous decision based on EU law, the professional community on Linkedin recognises our role in this matter as well as the current transgressions of Dutch law:

HRIF.EU success: Banks stop unlawful transaction monitoring at TMNL!

Our first polite but urgent request that the unlawful mass transaction monitoring at Transaction Monitoring Netherlands be ended, was included in a letter to the Dutch Bankers Association (NVB) about a more proportional and privacy-respecting approach in payment transactions. It dates back to October 2023, and now in July 2024 the surveillance actions of TMNL are announced to be wound down!

Since October 2023, we had to press many formal and informal buttons, and it did require quite some efforts. However, at first our repeated requests for discussions were only marginally fruitful. Nevertheless, the Dutch banks and TMNL have now indicated that they will stop the current outsourcing of transaction monitoring to TMNL. The details are not yet known because TMNL is phasing out, and the organization seems to continue to exist (which does raise some concerns, as the devil is in the details).

How did we achieve this? What buttons did we press?

Well, it could be the legal opinion that became available on June 20, which explains that banks themselves, through TMNL, have been committing massive cybercrime under the Criminal Code since 2021.

It could be our article and the publications on LinkedIn, which, as we see, reach and appeal to many professionals in the banking sector (although they are not allowed to press the like button by their boss).

It could be the continued attention that Dutch television consumer show Radar has given to this topic and the treatment of this subject in successive television-items.

It could be the bankers Oath report to three top bankers of ING, ABN AMRO, and RABO under disciplinary law, where it is evident that sanctions are given when bank employees unjustly spy on their neighbors. We will hear more about this at the end of July 2024.

It could be the petition by nearly 15,000 Dutch citizens and 9 interest organizations (Privacy First, – Stichting Donateursbelangen, – Vereniging Partin, – Stichting Grenzeloos onder één dak, – de Vereniging Belangenbehartiging Nederlands Gepensioneerden in het Buitenland, – de Stichting Nederlanders buiten Nederland, – de Vereniging Nederlandse Organisaties Vrijwilligerswerk, – de Verenigde Bitcoinbedrijven Nederland, – de Nederlandse Accidental American Group, – Bits of Freedom) calling for an end to excessive transaction monitoring.

It could be the successive broadcasts and explanations on BNR, Cryptocast, Holland Gold, or Nieuwe Wereld, where our chairman Simon Lelieveldt continued to explain that this unlawful mass monitoring is not acceptable. Or it could be the excellent analysis by Rutger Betlem and Mathijs Rotteveel in the Dutch financial newspaper FD.

It could also very well be the thorough article by investigative journalist Jan Hein Strop of Follow the Money: ‘Banks spy on your payments together – illegal, but no one intervenes.

It could be the abuse report we sent to Amazon Cloud Services, in which we explained that banks and TMNL were committing criminal acts (and perhaps AWS is not so keen to cooperate as there are US Persons in the database of TMNL as well that are being monitored).

It could be our Freedom of Information request to DNB, which we still need to study further (the contest is still on), but it did provide a lot of insight into what was happening behind the scenes (see the Google Drive with materials here).

It could be the enforcement request to DNB that HRIF.EU filed on behalf of all data subjects and the new understanding that this really cannot continue (and we actually think this is the one because ultimately, DNB cannot ignore the legal facts).

It could be the preliminary injunction that HRIF.EU still has pending at the Rotterdam District Court, so that enforcement is directed at the banks and NVB (which still stands by the way).

It could be the presentation at the Risk and Compliance conference that our chairman gave, where he explained the legal opinion on criminal liability once again.

Anyway, it is good that the banks and TMNL are going to stop this, but we would like to see actual proof that all data and algorithms have been properly discarded and that the bankers receive an appropriate reprimand and fine.

Is the case closed then ?

Of course not. There are still too many unusual transactions being reported with too much customer data. There is still no proper right to a bank account. There is still discrimination by algorithms.

But for today, we can say that it is a good day.