On February 24, President Obama signed the Judicial Redress Act, legislation that, according to the President, ensures “data is protected in the strongest possible way with our privacy laws.” The legislation is considered critical to EU-U.S. data flows in that it paves the way for the extension of Privacy Act rights to EU citizens, which will give them rights to seek Privacy Act remedies via civil action in U.S. courts. Regarding the Act, Věra Jourová, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers, and Gender Equality, commented, “[t]he entry into force of this Judicial Redress Act will pave the way for the signature of the EU-U.S. Data Protection Umbrella Agreement. This agreement will guarantee a high level of protection of all personal data, regardless of nationality, when transferred across the Atlantic for law enforcement purposes.”

The signing of the Judicial Redress Act comes after the European Commission’s approval of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a new framework for transatlantic data flows.