U.S. House Passes Judicial Redress Act, Senate Must Do the Same

The House of Representatives moved one step closer to repairing America’s image abroad regarding data privacy, by passing H.R. 1428, the Judicial Redress Act, with broad, bipartisan support. The Alliance applauds the bipartisan leadership in the House that shepherded H.R. 1428 across the finish line, and urges the Senate to quickly do the same.

The Alliance supports the Judicial Redress Act, in large part because it would help calm nerves in the European Union, where citizens remain anxious over the use of their personal data by some U.S. government entities. The Judicial Redress Act, as uncontroversial a bill as you will find, extends some U.S. privacy rights to E.U. citizens if a U.S. federal agency is misusing their personal data or the data used by those agencies is incorrect. 

News of the bill's passage is critical given the recent Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) ruling that invalidated the safe harbor agreement forged 15 years ago between the E.U. and U.S. One of the reasons the CJEU listed for striking down the agreement was E.U. citizens’ inability to seek redress to access, fix, or erase their personal data held by third parties. Prior to the CJEU decision, the safe harbor pact created a reliable avenue for businesses to collect and store consumer data and provided untold benefits to American and European businesses. With its decision, the CJEU stripped businesses of a vital tool that is critical to innovation and international business success, and absent a new safe harbor agreement, CJEU’s ruling will have a profound effect on U.S.-E.U. relations.

Make no mistake, H.R. 1428 is not a substitute for a new safe harbor agreement between the U.S. and E.U. Nevertheless, it does send a strong, unambiguous signal to our European partners that American lawmakers are serious about repairing our relationships abroad. Innovators and job creators will now turn their attention to the Senate where S. 1600, the Senate’s Judicial Redress Act, is still pending. It is our hope that the Senate will act with the same urgency that their counterparts in the House did. Doing so will be an important step in creating much needed certainty in the transatlantic marketplace.  

To read more about the issue, visit our other safe harbor blog posts:

The Alliance and other industry leaders have also sent letters to Congressional leaders on April 28June 25September 15, and October 15 urging them to pass judicial redress bills in both the Senate and House of Representatives.


 

Geoff Lane

U.S. Director of Policy and Government Relations