The US House of Representatives have passed the Judicial Redress Bill, which will allow EU citizens to enforce their data privacy rights in US courts. As mentioned in a previous blog, the conclusion of the EU/US Umbrella Agreement (which facilitates EU/US data transfers for law enforcement purposes) is subject to adoption of the Judicial Redress Bill by the US.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced the Judicial Redress Bill, said: “The sudden termination of the Safe Harbor framework strikes a blow to US businesses by complicating commercial data flows. If we fail to pass the Judicial Redress Act, we risk similar disruption to the sharing of law enforcement information.”

It is likely that the Judicial Redress Bill, once enacted, will also help the EU/US negotiations for reform of Safe Harbour to move forward. In the Schrems’ case, the CJEU held that the Safe Harbor decision, by not providing any possibility for EU citizens to obtain judicial redress with regard to the further processing of their personal data in the US, did not respect the fundamental right of individuals to effective judicial protection enshrined in Article 47 of the European Charter of Human Rights. The Judicial Redress BIll addresses this issue by giving EU citizens the same judicial redress as US citizens if law enforcement authorities violate their data privacy rights.

The Judicial Redress Bill is now due to go to Senate.