On January 27, the European Agency for Fundamental Rights, an official agency of the European Union, released its report on Access to Data Protection Remedies in EU Member States. As detailed below, the FRA concluded that redress mechanisms for data protection violations in the EU need improvement. More specifically, the FRA found that data protection authorities do not have sufficient powers or resources, there are not enough judges and lawyers with adequate knowledge of data protection issues, civil society organizations (e.g., consumer interest and privacy advocacy groups) have difficulty bringing suits on behalf of victims of data protection breaches, the costs and burdens of proof associated with data protection suits are too high, and Europeans lack awareness of remedies for data protection violations.
With the focus this summer on nation-states’ collection of electronic data, an important question went unanswered – what rights do individuals have to challenge government access to their data? We set out to answer that question in the fourth installment in Hogan Lovells’ White Paper series examining government access to data held by service providers. In the White Paper, available through this blog post, we compared the ability of citizens and non-citizens to challenge government access to data in the U.S., France, Germany, the UK, and Australia, concluding that of the countries surveyed, the right of redress appears strongest in the United States.