House Seeks to Reassure Europe by Approving Bill to Extend Privacy Protections to Certain Foreign Citizens
By Mary-Elizabeth M. Hadley
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Judicial Redress Act, legislation that would enable citizens of certain countries, such as those in the European Union (“EU”), to file suit against U.S. government agencies for certain Privacy Act violations.
Judicial Redress Act
Those covered by the act will be able to bring a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for intentional or willful violations of the Privacy Act’s disclosure provisions as well as challenge, among other things, designated federal agencies’ determinations not to provide access to or amend their records. Notably, however, the bill contains a broad preservation of “any applicable privilege” and makes clear that it shall not “require the disclosure of classified information.”
An Effort to Assuage Concerns
Timely passage of the legislation is viewed as particularly key in light of the European Court of Justice’s (“ECJ”) landmark
Signing of the law is also essential to the finalization of an “umbrella agreement” on the data protections that will govern how data are shared among law enforcement officials in the United States and the EU, provisionally reached last month. The umbrella agreement is contingent on EU citizens being provided additional judicial rights in the United States.
It remains unclear, however, if and when the Senate will act and whether the legislation will have any impact on separate negotiations over an enhanced safe harbor framework. In the interim, see Paul Hastings’