The Judicial Redress Act has passed the Senate but will need to be reconciled with an already-passed House version.
The bill extends privacy protections to the digital content of citizens of European nations (the ones designated as U.S. allies) whose data flows to this country.
Passage of the act is key to a new "privacy shield" safe harbor agreement struck, but not yet finalized, between the U.S. and EU this month and to a law enforcement-related privacy agreement between the U.S. and Europe.
"By allowing citizens of European nations and other designated U.S. allies procedural privacy protections similar to those offered to U.S. citizens in Europe, the United States can provide equal privacy rights to our allied trading partners and foster global economic progress," said Mark MacCarthy, senior VP of the Software and Information Industry Association.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, echoed the importance of the bill's passage.
"The passage of the Judicial Redress Act in the Senate brings us one step closer toward completing an important agreement between the United States and our European allies, allowing the exchange of critical information, and rebuilding trust between nations. The ability to transfer data between international law enforcement agencies is paramount to our nation’s safety, and I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for passing this crucial legislation.”
The Information Technology Industry Council joined the chorus.
“This important measure enables the finalization of the Data Privacy and Protection Agreement, a law enforcement information sharing agreement between the United States and the European Union," said ITIF president Dean Garfield. "It is also a signal to our friends and allies of our government’s continued commitment to respecting personal privacy, a critical step following the conclusion of negotiations on the EU – U.S. Privacy Shield. We thank Senators Orrin Hatch and Chris Murphy for championing this legislation in the Senate and we look forward to working with the House as it considers the measure once again,” Garfield said.