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, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia have all enacted 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.

Congress has 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 in 2022. More recently, the American Privacy Rights Act was introduced. We will continue to work with lawmakers from both parties to improve the bill and pass a preemptive federal privacy law.

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 mitigate abusive lawsuits against small businesses and provide companies certainty about their responsibilities so they can spend their resources on 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.