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Europeans would be able to take legal action to protect their data in US

Europeans would be able to take legal action against U.S. agencies that misuse their private data, under legislation introduced Wednesday in the U.S. Senate.

Europe currently gives data protection rights to U.S. citizens whose data is held by EU agencies, but the U.S. does not return the favor. The bipartisan bill introduced this week would extend to Europeans certain rights that Americans have under the Privacy Act of 1974.

Some MEPs see these rights as crucial to rebuilding trust after the Edward Snowden revelations. The legislation, if passed, could also pave the way for future data-sharing agreements between the U.S. and Europe.

The Senate bill was “a massive step forward for us,” because equal data protection rights for EU citizens would be a “huge breakthrough,”Claude Moraes , chair of the European Parliament’s justice committee, told POLITICO.

He said certain details would need to be clarified, in particular the question of whether the new law, if passed, would apply to everyone in the EU or only citizens.

The bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) echoes a proposal in the House in March from Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.)

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Source: Politico

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