The Tages Anzeiger raises questions about data protection following a publication from the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) disclosing initials of people who allegedly hid undeclared money in Switzerland and full names of others. However, the number of transmitted data is not disclosed because the Federal Gazette mentions only people who could not be contacted directly.

The information has been transmitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the so-called tax assistance of the double taxation agreement (DTA) between Switzerland and the USA dating back to 1996. Douglas Hornung says that it remains to be seen if this information will be made available to other US authorities.

According to the FTA, only customers have the right to appeal in the process of international administrative assistance not the (ex-)employees while for the Geneva lawyer Douglas Hornung this practice bypasses the Swiss courts. More than a hundred procedures have been launched over the last two years to prevent disclosure of personal information reports La Tribune de Geneve. Accordin to the FTA ‘The law is very clear on this, and the courts have no effect either at this level’. But the law also mentions that information that is not relevant should not be transmitted.