On February 12, 2016, the European Data Protection Supervisor expressed his support for the EU-‐US Umbrella Agreement initiative. He recommended three essential improvements in the arrangement designed to set a global precedent for the sustainable sharing and transfer of personal data for law enforcement purposes, and to increase trust between the two strategic partners. Meanwhile, On February 24, 2016, President Obama signed the Judicial Redress Act, which grants non-‐US citizens certain rights, including a private right of action for alleged privacy violations that occur in the US. The passing of the Act is a crucial step in order to approve the Umbrella Agreement.
The European Data Protection Supervisor (hereinafter, the “EDPS”), in his opinion issued on February 12, 2016, welcomes and shares the intention of both the EU and US negotiators to ensure a high level of protection for personal data transferred for law enforcement purposes, and appreciates their commitment to introducing effective safeguards.
The EDPS provides constructive and objective advice on the clarifications and improvements necessary to ensure that the proposed agreement adequately upholds the rights of individuals. Particular concerns include the effectiveness of judicial redress, the prevention of bulk transfer of sensitive data and ensuring that all the envisaged safeguards will apply to everyone protected by the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, not only EU nationals.
Meanwhile, On February 24, 2016, President Obama signed the Judicial Redress Act (hereinafter, the “Act”) into law. The Act grants non-‐U.S. citizens certain rights, including a private right of action for alleged privacy violations that occur in the U.S. The Act was signed after Congress approved an amendment that limits the right to sue to only those citizens of countries which (i) permit the “transfer of personal data for commercial purposes” to the U.S., and (ii) do not impose personal data transfer policies that “materially impede” U.S. national security interests.
On the occasion of the signature of the Act, EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová said: "The entry into force of the Judicial Redress Act will pave the way for the signature of the EU-‐U.S. Data Protection Umbrella Agreement. This agreement […] will strengthen privacy, while ensuring legal certainty for transatlantic data exchanges between police and criminal justice authorities. This is crucial to keep Europeans safe through efficient and robust cooperation between the EU and the U.S. in the fight against crime and terrorism”.