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Monday, 26th October 2015

A Comparison Between US and EU Data Protection Legislation for Law Enforcement Purposes

Source: Directorate General for Internal Policies (EU)

From Executive Summary:

This study compares EU and US data protection guarantees in the field of law enforcement. The legal approaches to regulate data protection guarantees in law enforcement, in both the EU and the US legal order, vary from their very outset, leading to structural, legal and in particular constitutional differences.

Generally, it can be concluded that the EU data protection framework in the law enforcement sector is shaped by comprehensive data protection guarantees, which are codified in EU primary and secondary law and are accompanied by EU and ECtHR case law. In contrast, US data protection guarantees in the law enforcement and national security contexts are sector specific and are therefore contained within the specific instruments which empower US agencies to process personal data. They vary according to the instruments in place and are far less comprehensive.

Above all, constitutional protection is limited. US citizens may invoke protection through the Fourth Amendment and the Privacy Act, but the data protection rights granted in the law enforcement sector are limitedly interpreted with a general tendency to privilege law enforcement and national security interests.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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