Washington, D.C. – As part of National Data Privacy Week, TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, is highlighting how the growing patchwork of state privacy laws is hurting American small businesses and the U.S. economy. The following statement can be attributed to Carl Holshouser, TechNet Senior Vice President.

“Small business owners are working harder than ever to combat inflation, rising costs, and a difficult labor market. The last thing they need to worry about is a growing and conflicting set of privacy standards from state to state. Instead of spending their resources on growing their businesses, they’re forced to keep up with an ever-changing compliance landscape.

“In the absence of a federal privacy law, small businesses could pay $20-23 billion annually to navigate a 50-state patchwork of privacy laws. That’s money for lawyers that small businesses would rather invest in their workers and products.

“Congress can put an end to this and help America’s small businesses by passing a federal privacy law. The need has never been greater.

“Consumers deserve to have their data protected no matter where they live, work, or shop, and businesses need one standard to comply with so they can focus on innovation and growth rather than onerous compliance burdens from the growing patchwork.”

In recent months, many small and medium-sized business owners have been speaking out in favor of a national data privacy law. Here are just a few:

National Data Privacy Week is an annual educational event to inform consumers, lawmakers, and business owners about the state of data privacy in America. This week, with partner organizations, TechNet will highlight the economic cost and the national and consumer security risks posed by the current lack of a federal privacy law. Building on the success of its #UnitedforPrivacy campaign, TechNet will bring to life the real-world effects of the status quo in data privacy.


  • ITIF estimates that United States small businesses would have to pay $20-23 billion annually as a result of patchwork privacy laws. That’s more than $200 billion in compliance costs for small businesses over a 10-year period.
  • Cisco’s 2023 Data Privacy Benchmark Study found the average privacy spend of small businesses (50-249 employees) is $2 million, up from $1.1 million in 2020.
  • The privacy law in California costs in-state small businesses $9 billion annually and out-of-state small businesses $6 billion annually, for example.
  • 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.