Washington, D.C. – TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today released a statement in advance of Thursday’s hearing in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce on addressing America’s data privacy shortfalls. The following can be attributed to TechNet President and CEO Linda Moore:

“The growing patchwork of state privacy laws is confusing consumers and having a chilling effect on our economy, especially for small businesses that struggle to keep up with an ever-changing compliance landscape. In the past week, three states – Montana, Indiana, and Tennessee – approved omnibus data privacy bills that will soon be sent to the Governors for their signature. This is in addition to Iowa, where an omnibus data privacy bill was signed into law just last month. If this trend continues, a 50-state patchwork would cost our economy more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years, with more than $200 billion being paid by American small businesses.

“The need for a federal privacy law has never been greater, and now is the time for Congress to act. We applaud tomorrow’s hearing and will continue to work with lawmakers from both parties to pass a federal privacy law that protects Americans’ data no matter where they live and gives businesses certainty about their responsibilities so they can spend their resources on creating jobs rather than paying legal bills.”

Small business owners are speaking out about how hard it is to navigate a 50-state patchwork of privacy laws and how it’s hurting their businesses. Business owners across sectors of our economy have written about how a federal privacy law would help their businesses, including in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phoenix Business Journal, the Arizona Capitol Times, the Austin Chronicle, and the Dallas Business Journal. These small business owners all agree that a standardized federal privacy law would lower costs for their companies, protect their customers, and strengthen our economy.

For more information, visit technet.org/privacy.

Additional background:

  • Since 2018, 178 comprehensive privacy bills have been considered across 45 states. This year alone, 27 states have introduced 55 comprehensive privacy bills. Soon, consumers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Utah, and Virginia will all be regulated by different privacy laws.
  • More than 83 percent of all voters, including 86 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans, ranked privacy legislation as a “top” or “important” Congressional priority.
  • Last year, Congress made significant strides in passing comprehensive federal privacy legislation. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a bipartisan vote of 53-2. While the bill still needs further refinements to address several key issues before becoming law, this was a watershed moment for enacting a uniform federal standard.
  • TechNet has been a national leader in calling for federal privacy legislation. TechNet’s initiative, United for Privacy, has brought together partners across all sectors of the economy to advocate for legislation that protects consumers and American businesses by ending the patchwork of state privacy laws.