January 13, 2022

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TechNet-led #UnitedForPrivacy Campaign Launches With Call From Small Businesses to Pass Federal Data Privacy Protection Law

Newly launched campaign highlights how the current state-by-state patchwork of privacy laws hampers innovation, job creation, and economic growth

More than 80 regional Chambers of Commerce sign letter urging Congress to pass a national privacy standard

Washington, D.C. – TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today launched a new campaign – “United For Privacy” – to bring a unified, cross-industry voice to Congress underscoring the urgent need to pass a national privacy law in 2022. The #UnitedForPrivacy campaign includes a wide range of business sectors. To kickstart the launch, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a letter signed by 81 regional Chambers of Commerce and 12 national business organizations calling on Congress to pass federal privacy legislation.

Currently, American consumers and businesses are stuck in a broken system where data privacy laws vary depending on which state you're in, whether you sell products (and how many) over state lines, or which websites you visit. This state-by-state privacy patchwork creates confusion for consumers and has a chilling effect on every sector of the U.S. economy. It makes it harder for job creators to succeed - especially small and medium-sized businesses that are struggling to stay open amid a pandemic, inflation, and a continually-changing compliance landscape.

Congress can end the privacy patchwork and strengthen the economy through bipartisan action that would give consumers assurances their data and privacy are protected no matter where they live while offering businesses certainty about the responsibilities.

“The need for a national privacy law has never been greater. We are proud to launch the #UnitedForPrivacy campaign and bring together leaders from across the U.S. economy to shine a light on the urgent need for a national privacy law. Together, we can protect consumers and their data while also helping America’s small and medium-sized businesses grow,” said Linda Moore, President and CEO of TechNet. “Right now, job creators are spending far too many resources to comply with a patchwork of state privacy laws. They’re exposed to constant legal battles that jeopardize their business. This isn’t a tech sector problem, it’s an every sector problem. That’s why we’re bringing industries together and calling on Congress to pass a federal privacy law. This will not only protect consumers and user data but will give businesses, especially small businesses, certainty about their obligations, freeing them up to spend resources on innovation and job creation, not legal bills. We thank the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for bringing together local Chambers across the country to speak out on the urgent need for federal privacy legislation and look forward to working with other business leaders and organizations who are #UnitedForPrivacy.”

“It is critically important for the 21st century economy that consumers are afforded robust privacy protection and businesses have a clear set of rules. Data is helping to develop vaccines and expand financial inclusion. It’s important we get data policy right,” said Jordan Crenshaw, Vice President of U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center. “It is for this reason we are partnering with other trade associations to call on Congress to pass a national privacy law that protects all Americans equally. Dozens of local and state chambers and the U.S. Chamber today are calling on Congress to provide clarity and consumer protection. A national privacy law will help small businesses compete and enable innovation to thrive for all sectors of the economy. ”

In the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s letter, business leaders from 28 states including Arizona, California, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia told Congress that, ”[c]onsumers and businesses should not be forced to wait longer for legislation that equally protects the privacy of all Americans. A growing patchwork of state laws are emerging which threaten innovation and create consumer and business confusion …. We are united for privacy to urge you to pass bipartisan and durable national data protection legislation.”

The Chamber of Commerce’s letter is the first action of the #UnitedForPrivacy campaign. In addition to TechNet and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, participants include the Consumer Technology Association, the Marketplace Industry Association, Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the Electronic Transactions Association, TECNA, SEMI, the Software and Information Industry Association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the CA Life Sciences Association, NetChoice, the National Electronic Manufacturers Association, the American Escrow Association, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the National Business Coalition on E-Commerce and Privacy, the American Financial Services Association, the Association of National Advertisers, and Business Roundtable.

In the last two years, 31 states have introduced comprehensive privacy regulations and three have passed due to the lack of federal action, with Virginia and Colorado enacting measures in 2021. TechNet has been a leader at the state level, advocating for a national privacy law and praising bills introduced on Capitol Hill. Last year, TechNet applauded federal privacy legislation introduced by Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) known as the Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability (SAFE DATA) Act. TechNet also applauded the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act which was introduced by Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

In the coming weeks and months, the #UnitedForPrivacy campaign will unveil additional partners, initiatives, and actions urging Congress to pass a national privacy law. You can follow the activities of the campaign at www.endtheprivacypatchwork.com and on social media using the hashtag #UnitedForPrivacy.

Background:

You can read the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s full letter and list of signatories by clicking here or reading below:

January 13, 2021

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:

We, the undersigned, urge Congress to pass comprehensive privacy legislation. It has been 1,285 days since the California Consumer Privacy Act, America’s first comprehensive data protection law, was signed. Consumers and businesses should not be forced to wait longer for legislation that equally protects the privacy of all Americans.

A growing patchwork of state laws are emerging which threaten innovation and  create consumer and business confusion. Last year alone, Virginia and Colorado passed legislation that differs from California’s new California Privacy Rights Act. Twenty-six other states and the District of Columbia also considered data protection legislation. These proposals would take significantly diverse approaches on enforcement, duties, and scope that would make compliance incredibly difficult for small businesses to compete.

As the Federal Trade Commission considers a privacy rulemaking that would add a further layer of complexity to the state patchwork, it is critical that Congress pass one single national standard. This standard must provide meaningful and robust protections for consumers through sole federal agency and state attorney general enforcement.

Data is foundational to America’s economic growth and keeping society safe, healthy and inclusive. Technologies like artificial intelligence are leading to vaccine development and expanding opportunities financially to those who have traditionally been underserved. Fundamental to the use of data is trust. A national privacy law that is clear and fair to business and empowering to consumers will foster the digital ecosystem necessary for America to compete.

We are united for privacy and urge you to pass bipartisan and durable national data protection legislation.

Sincerely,

National Associations
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
America’s SBDC
Association of National Advertisers
Consumer Data Industry Association  
Consumer Technology Association  
Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association  
Interactive Advertising Bureau
National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions  
National Association of Surety Bond Producers  
National Business Coalition on E-Commerce and Privacy
National Waste & Recycling Association  
Security Industry Association  
Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
TechNet
U.S. Minority Chamber of Commerce

Alabama
Enterprise Chamber of Commerce  
Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce  
Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information  

Arizona
Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce  
Chandler Chamber of Commerce  
Greater Phoenix Chamber  
Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center  
Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce  
Sierra Vista Area Chamber of Commerce  
Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce  

California
Danville Area Chamber of Commerce  
Gateway Chambers Alliance  
Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce  
Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce  
Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce  
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce  
Norwalk Chamber of Commerce  
Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce  
Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce  
Rancho Cordova Area Chamber of Commerce  
San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce  
San Mateo Chamber of Commerce  
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce  
The Greater Escondido Chamber of Commerce  
Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce  

Georgia
Barrow County Chamber of Commerce, Inc.  

Idaho
Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce  

Illinois
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry  
Naperville Chamber of Commerce  
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce  

Indiana
South Bend Regional Chamber  

Iowa
Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce  
Mason City Chamber of Commerce  

Kansas
Overland Park Chamber of Commerce  

Maryland
Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce  
Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce
Cybersecurity Association of Maryland, Inc.  
Howard County Chamber  
Maryland Chamber of Commerce  
Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  
Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce
Washington County Chamber of Commerce  

Massachusetts
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce  
One SouthCoast Chamber  

Minnesota
Austin Area Chamber of Commerce

Nevada
Carson City Chamber of Commerce  
White Pine Chamber of Commerce  

New Jersey
Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce  

New Mexico
Southwest Cable Communications Association (Arizona and New Mexico)

New York
Corning Area Chamber of Commerce  
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce  

North Carolina
North Carolina Chamber
The Chamber, Leading Business in Cabarrus

Ohio
Solon Chamber of Commerce  

Oklahoma
The State Chamber of Oklahoma

Oregon
Oregon Business & Industry  

Pennsylvania
Beaver County Chamber of Commerce
Cambria Regional Chamber  
Greater Latrobe Laurel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce  
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry  
Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce  
Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce  

South Carolina
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

Tennessee
Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce  

Texas
Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce
Grapevine Chamber of Commerce  
Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce  
Longview TX Chamber of Commerce  
Rowlett Area Chamber & Visitors Center  

Utah
Point of Mountain Chamber of Commerce  
Salt Lake Chamber  
South Valley Chamber of Commerce  

Virginia
Virginia Chamber of Commerce  

Washington
Association of Washington Business  
Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce  
Burlington Chamber of Commerce  
Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce  
Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce  
Shelton-Mason County Chamber
Washington Retail Association  

Wyoming
Casper Area Chamber of Commerce

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