Coalition Letter to President Biden on Supporting Passage of Federal Privacy Legislation
Dear President Biden:
The undersigned organizations urge you to designate two high-level officials to lead an Administration effort to engage with Congress to support the passage of comprehensive federal privacy legislation. We recommend a co-leadership approach to ensure that both consumer privacy and cybersecurity concerns are adequately addressed. This could be achieved by designating the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator and the National Cyber Director to co-lead the effort.
This request advances the “United For Privacy” campaign, intended to bring a unified, cross-industry voice underscoring the urgent need to pass a national privacy law this Congress. To kickstart the #UnitedForPrivacy campaign, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a letter in January signed by 81 regional Chambers of Commerce and 12 national business organizations from a wide range of industries calling on Congress to pass federal privacy legislation. Over the past few weeks, members of this coalition have met with key leaders of both parties in the House and Senate who are committed to enacting federal privacy legislation this year.
The need for a federal privacy law has never been greater. Since 2018, 37 states have introduced or passed 72 different, and often conflicting, data privacy bills, and that number is growing rapidly. Without congressional action, we will inevitably have a patchwork of laws in all 50 states. This is confusing consumers and hurting businesses, especially small- and medium-sized companies that are struggling through the pandemic and record inflation.
Failing to pass federal privacy legislation would cost the American economy more than $1 trillion over 10 years, with more than $200 billion being paid by small businesses. This means that resources that could go toward creating jobs are being spent on compliance costs and legal bills. Since the enactment of the California Consumer Privacy Act in 2020, there have been nearly 200 lawsuits involving companies that sell to customers in California despite being located elsewhere.
Moreover, the United States is increasingly placing itself at a competitive disadvantage because it has fallen behind other nations in passing national comprehensive privacy legislation. Any further delay will increase the threat that the United States will cede leadership to countries that do not share the democratic values that America supports.
A federal privacy law can change this dynamic. Rather than forcing American consumers and companies to navigate dozens of different state privacy laws, we need a unified approach that gives consumers assurances their data and privacy will be protected no matter where they live while providing the business community certainty about their responsibilities.
We would be pleased to provide further information and to be a resource to the Administration on this issue. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Carl Holshouser, Senior Vice President of TechNet, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 372-7000, who is serving as the main point of contact for this coalition.
Alliance for Automotive Innovation
American Escrow Association
American Financial Services Association
Association of National Advertisers
California Life Sciences Association
Chamber of Progress
Consumer Technology Association
Electronic Transactions Association
Information Technology Industry Council
Interactive Advertising Bureau
Marketplace Industry Association
National Business Coalition on E-Commerce and Privacy
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
Security Industry Association
Software and Information Industry Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
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