Emory Law Journal


Law enforcement access to personal data presents a paradox at the heart of debates between the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.) about privacy protections. On the one hand, the comprehensive privacy regime in the EU contains many requirements that do not apply in the United States. On the other hand, the United States also sets requirements that do not exist in the EU. Thus, both are stricter in important ways when setting standards for law enforcement access to personal data. The fact that both sides are stricter in significant respects is important to two distinct topics: how to reform the system of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA), and whether the United States provides ¿adequate¿ protection for personal data under EU law. The relative strictness of standards for law enforcement access is central to understanding current obstacles to reforming the MLA system.