Douglas Hornung, a Geneva-based Lawyer, reiterates in the newspaper L’Agefi that the direct data transmission from banks in Switzerland to the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is illegal. According to the Swiss rules the demands should come from the DoJ to the Swiss Federal Authorities and not directly to the banks. This process makes it illegal.

The FINMA first confirmed twice in 2011 that the delivery from the banks were illegal, before changing its position in 2012 according to Douglas Hornung.

The courts have granted urgent interim measures prohibiting banks to transmit data about former employees, employees or third parties. These are only a provisional decisions and the Federal Court may not rule on the illegality of data transmission until 2016.

It is also important to remember, says Douglas Hornung, that Switzerland tried to reach a global agreement with the USA for 2 years but failed to do so. The Americans made it clear that they were distinguishing the indictment and prosecution of banks and those of individuals. Hence it becomes important to inform the persons of their rights and the opportunities they have to oppose the transmission of their data to the USA.