NEWS19 November 2021

New data reveals Americans’ support for federal privacy legislation

News North America Privacy

US – Nearly all the voters surveyed ( 92%) in a recent study from Privacy for America believe it is important for congress to pass new legislation to protect consumers’ personal data.

Conceptual image of data privacy using lock

A majority ( 62%) favour federal regulation over individual state regulations. As the Covid-19-induced digital transformation of American life continues, four out of five voters ( 81%) support a national standard that prohibits harmful ways of collecting, using and sharing personal data.

The study was conducted among 1,524 Americans across a demographically representative cross section of US registered voters to better understand the impact and concerns regarding the current state of privacy in the country. Additional findings include the fact that voters find common ground on privacy legislation. Virtually all Democrat ( 95.4%), independent ( 92.0%) and Republican ( 89.3%) voters surveyed report that it is “very or somewhat important” for congress to pass federal privacy legislation.

In addition to widespread bipartisan support, there is near universal agreement across age, race and gender that passing new data privacy legislation is important. Voters are also more motivated to protect themselves than punish companies. 

The research found that voters favour regulation that protects their data from misuse or abuse ( 43%), but their support is driven by a desire for protection rather than to punish tech companies.

For 40% of Americans, the desire for data privacy regulations is greater now than in the past. Leading concerns include cyber fraud and criminal activity ( 65%) and the security of digital financial activities such as online shopping, banking and bill paying ( 40%).

“These findings make clear that an overwhelming majority of Americans want congress to pass nationwide privacy legislation that protects all Americans, no matter where they live,” said Stuart Ingis, adviser to the Privacy for America coalition.

“In today’s highly polarised political climate, comprehensive privacy legislation is a rare bipartisan opportunity for congress to deliver real protections for Americans and small businesses seeking to recover from the pandemic and protect the responsible use of data that drives our economy. We urge lawmakers from both parties to come together to make a national privacy law a reality in the US.”

@RESEARCH LIVE

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