BEUC Backs Proposal To Ban Screen Scraping

BEUC, the European consumer interest group, is asking banking authorities to stop the practice of screen scraping, or using software to copy data off a website, reported Finextra.

According to the news report regarding the intrusion of data privacy, BEUC is backing the creation of a harmonized interface for customer data sharing, which is in support of the European Banking Authority (EBA). The EBA has been criticizing the EU Commission’s proposed amendment to the Regulatory Technical Standards for PSD2, which would overturn a ban on screen scraping. The EBA favors the use of bank APIs. FinTechs argue the EBA is protecting the interests of banks.   

“The EBA’s approach would disable existing, well-working payment initiation as well as account information services, which are very popular and widely used amongst consumers. It would undermine the most-used business model of the European FinTech industry, one of the world’s biggest growth industries and one of the few areas in which EU tech companies have a lead over their Silicon Valley competitors,” Ralf Ohlhausen, business development director for PPRO Group and a member of the 69-strong Future of European FinTech Alliance, said in the report.

In a statement, the BEUC said it realizes the proposal could create cybersecurity “chaos” but argued: “If screen scraping is forbidden and every bank in the EU is free to develop its own interface for FinTechs, it could … potentially lead to thousands of different interfaces. This would be unmanageable to FinTechs and would unfairly favour the incumbent banks.”

The European consumer interest group wants the EBA to redraft rules so there is a mandate to develop a harmonised API to which all banks and FinTechs have to follow regarding data privacy and cybersecurity.  

“This would allow FinTechs to enter the market and increase competition in the field of payments, which consumers warmly welcome,” the BEUC said in the statement, according to Finextra.


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