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US to collect limited data on Swiss passengers

The United States has agreed to treat information disclosed about Swiss citizens flying into the country with the same security guarantees it extends to EU citizens.

The countries had a similar agreement in place in 2005 but it expired after three and a half years. The new agreement has no such limit.

The revised accord reached on Wednesday shores up data protection regulations in place in the US and limits how much information can be passed onto the American authorities.

In the past, airlines flying from Switzerland to the US could be required to provide 31 names, seat numbers and baggage details, among other bits of personal data.

The new agreement limits that number to 19, the same as for flights originating out of the European Union.

Information about a traveller's ethnic background, political stances, religious views and sexual orientation cannot be disclosed.

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