President Obama Signs the Judicial Redress Act (H.R.1428/S.1600)

As part of implementing the EU-US Privacy Shield, on February 24, 2016, President Obama signed the Judicial Redress Act (H.R.1428/S.1600). This law is designed to give EU citizens the right to sue the U.S. government for privacy violations.  In particular:

  • It authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to designate specific foreign countries or regional economic integration organizations (i.e., the EU) whose natural citizens may bring civil actions under the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974.
  • These suits may be brought against certain U.S. government agencies.
  • The suits are limited to accessing, amending, or redressing unlawful disclosures of records transferred from a foreign country to the United States to prevent, investigate, detect, or prosecute criminal offenses.
  • It does not provide a cause of action against private entities

The finalization of the Judicial Redress Act also is considered by the EU as a prerequisite to the Umbrella Agreement,  a data protection agreement regarding the transatlantic transfer of personal data in law enforcement contexts.

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