A deal designed to protect the data rights of US and EU citizens has now been reached

EU and USA agree protection for shared data

The European Union and the USA have reached an agreement on how to protect data that is shared for law enforcement purposes.

The deal has been under negotiation for four years, but the lack of a right for non-resident EU citizens in the US to go to US courts to challenge the misuse or unlawful disclosure of their data - a right US citizens enjoy in the EU - has held up talks.

The European Commission has previously said the so-called "umbrella agreement" cannot be formally concluded until the "right to judicial redress" for EU citizens is enshrined in US law, but according to a document seen by Reuters the text of the agreement has now been finalised.

The chief negotiators are expected to initial the text at meeting in Luxembourg on Monday or Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the matter, which would signal the end of talks.

The agreement is designed to protect personal data exchanged between European and US police and judicial authorities in the course of investigations, as well as between companies and law enforcement authorities.

The Bill comes at a time of frayed trans-Atlantic relations after allegations of mass US digital spying emerged in 2013 and the document seen by Reuters says the bill appears to have received bipartisan support.

The move follows US Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner's introduction of the Judicial Redress Act in March, aimed at giving citizens of US allies the right to sue over data privacy in the US.

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