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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

EU Wins US Court Access for Data-Privacy Fights

(CN) - The European Commission on Thursday applauded President Barack Obama for signing the Judicial Redress Act, which gives EU citizens the right to enforce their data-protection rights in U.S. courts.

Obama's signature on the bill Thursday paves the way for full implementation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, new transatlantic data-sharing rules necessary after the European Court of Justice held this past October that the previous "safe harbor" scheme invalid because it didn't bar U.S. law enforcement and government authorities from accessing user data - a point revealed in vivid detail by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

Under the new rules, the United States agreed that access of EU citizens' data by law enforcement and national security agencies will be limited, with safeguards in place and redress for citizens who believe their data has been misused.

"I welcome the signature of the Judicial Redress Act by President Obama today. This new law is a historic achievement in our efforts to restore trust in transatlantic data flows," justice commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement. "The Judicial Redress Act will ensure that all EU citizens have the right to enforce data protection rights in U.S. courts. U.S. citizens already enjoy this right in Europe."

After the privacy shield has been implemented, diplomats on both sides of the pond will sign the full EU-U.S. data protection umbrella agreement, Jourova said.

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