Perhaps because of the Arthur Andersen case – and the many innocent employees who found themselves in need as a result of these lawsuits – the resolution of a case by a data protection authority has become more frequent in recent years. According to a study, the Department of Justice has concluded more than 150 such agreements with defendants between 2015 and 2017. Under the Speedy Trial Act (18 U.S.C No. 3161-3174), U.S. federal courts are generally required to set a trial date within 70 days of laying a charge or criminal information (i.e., the indictment that lays out the charges against the accused). However, this period may be extended in accordance with section 3161 H) (h) because “prosecutions brought by government counsel are deferred on the basis of a written agreement with the defendant, with the court`s consent, to allow the defendant to prove his good conduct.” The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began using more and more DPA after the criminal conviction of the public audit firm Arthur Anderson, which culminated in his work for Enron, which led to the closure of the company. On appeal, the conviction was eventually quashed; But the damage was already done. The victims included unemployed people, concerned investors and markets.
Data protection authorities also address the defendant companies because they offer a complete solution to allegations of misconduct, without the company being held accountable for the potentially devastating consequences of criminal liability, such as loss of licence or prohibition. Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began using DPAs to resolve civil cases in its jurisdiction. U.S.: Data protection authorities in the federal system go back more than 20 years to a comparison between Salomon Brothers and the 1992 DOJ, which included an agreement not to sue the organization because of its “unprecedented cooperation.” In the period that followed, the DOJ formalized the requirements for the use of these agreements in its U.S. Manual (ss9-22,000) (USAM). The SEC`s approach to dieB is contained in its implementation manual (S6.23). Agreements not to prosecute a person date back to the early days of the U.S. criminal justice system, which sets prosecutors` discretion at all levels to decide whether to incriminate a potential defendant.