Washington – The Senate Judiciary Committee today passed the Judicial Redress Act with a strong bipartisan vote, clearing the way for a vote by the full Senate. The measure gives Europeans the right to review and correct inaccurate information about them held by federal agencies. The House has already passed this bill.

Passage of the Judicial Redress Act helps pave the way to move forward on two data sharing agreements with Europe that will improve the economy, privacy and security of both the US and the EU. The Judicial Redress Act is directly linked to the final adoption of the Data Privacy and Protection Agreement for law enforcement-related data transfers. The Act should also provide goodwill for the finalization of the negotiations on a new Safe Harbor framework for transatlantic commercial data flows.

The Judicial Redress Act was certainly worth passing on its own merits, as it would give Europeans similar rights to those they offer Americans. Citizens of designated countries would be granted the right to request access to records shared by their governments with a U.S. federal agency in the course of a criminal investigation, amend such records when they are erroneous, and seek redress when such records are unlawfully disclosed by an agency. Today is European Data Protection Day, so the Senate’s timing couldn’t be better.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has been advocating passage of the Judicial Redress Act through letters and editorials for more than a year. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Today’s vote helps restore transatlantic trust as it extends privacy rights to Europeans and enables better law enforcement cooperation. It will also support finalization of a new Safe Harbor framework that thousands of U.S. and EU companies use to transfer data.”

“This bill is a win for privacy and paves the way for progress on two data sharing agreements with Europe that will improve the economy, privacy and security of both the US and the EU.”

“The Senate Judiciary Committee should be commended for taking this step to restore Europeans’ trust in the U.S. post-Snowden. We now call on Senators to promptly vote on this measure that helps restore communication and trust with our European allies.”

 

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