The growing patchwork of state privacy laws is confusing consumers and having a chilling effect on our economy, especially for small businesses that are struggling to keep up with an ever-changing compliance landscape. Resources that could go towards innovation and job creation are instead being spent on compliance costs and legal bills. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia have all passed different privacy laws.

If this trend continues, a 50-state patchwork of privacy laws would cost our economy more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years, with more than $200 billion being paid by American small businesses.

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.

With momentum on their side, the time to act is now. Congress and the White House must pass one unified, national privacy standard that gives consumers assurances their data and privacy are protected no matter where they live while ensuring all Americans have the right to access, correct, and delete their data. A federal privacy bill must also give businesses certainty about their responsibilities so they can spend on growing creating jobs, not paying legal bills.

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.