“The U.S. Privacy Act in Comparative Perspective”

March 31, 2007Duke Law News

Professor Francesca Bignami speaks on data protection at European Parliament

Professor Francesca Bignami was a featured speaker at the European Parliament in Brussels on March 26, taking part in a public seminar on transatlantic data protection. Her presentation analyzed the application of the 1974 U.S. Privacy Act to national security, policing, and other related government activities, in order promote a comparison between the legal framework for data protection in Europe and the United States. Bignami’s address, entitled “The U.S. Privacy Act in Comparative Perspective,” is available at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/hearings/20070326/libe/bignami_en.pdf.

Sponsored by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home affairs, the seminar followed Parliament’s adoption, in February, of a resolution to spur the development of “a common and shared framework” for data protection between the EU and U.S. in their common fight against terrorism. The seminar explored the factual and legal situation which identifies the transatlantic transfer of personal data for security purposes, particularly with respect to airline passengers, financial transfers, and data exchanged between private parties.
Bignami’s research focuses on rights and democracy in the European Union and comparative public law. She is the author of numerous articles on European administrative law, European information privacy law, and the role of civil society actors in global governance. She also serves as chair of the Rulemaking Advisory Group of the ABA Project on EU Administrative Law and as a member of the academic advisory board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.