Lawmakers to Decide on Digital Euro’s Private Data Access

Alisha Deo

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• The amount of private information the European National Bank would have direct access to if it implemented a digital euro will be decided by legislators, not the bank.
• Executive board chairman Fabio Panetta said the ECB does not have administrative rights to any personal data.
• Lawmakers will likely decide if the virtual euro may be used as official cash, and if third parties are necessary to disseminate it.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has stated that decisions regarding the implementation of a digital euro will be left in the hands of lawmakers, not the central bank. During a routine discussion on the digital euro on Monday, ECB Executive Board Chairman Fabio Panetta said that the organization’s top executives are not pushing for access to details about specific transactions.

Panetta emphasized the importance of striking a balance between privacy and other essential public policy objectives, saying that the ECB “suggests that we don’t have admin rights to any personal data.” Panetta clarified that private lenders, who would likely be used as middlemen to manage user accounts, would not have any greater access than they already do.

The ECB has also stated that the virtual euro will not be program money, meaning that there would not be any restrictions placed on users. Additionally, it is likely that lawmakers will decide whether the digital euro can be used as legal tender, and if third parties are necessary to facilitate transactions.

Overall, the ECB’s decision to put the decision in the hands of legislators emphasizes the organization’s commitment to protecting user privacy and upholding public policy objectives. It remains to be seen how lawmakers will decide to balance these factors when making decisions regarding the digital euro.