NEWS25 November 2019

US industry bodies call for national data protection

Data analytics News North America Privacy Public Sector

US – An advocacy group of advertising and marketing industry associations has called on Congress to implement a nationwide, comprehensive data privacy law to establish standards for businesses.

america map with a padlock

Privacy for America was launched earlier in the year to influence Congress over new privacy legislation. Its members include the American Association of Advertising Agencies ( 4A’s) the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and market research industry body the Insights Association.

In a letter to Congressional leaders dated 21st November 2019, the organisations called for “a federal privacy law that applies equally to all Americans”, saying that state-level legislation and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have led to a “fragmented regulatory environment”.

Noting the forthcoming California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which is implemented from January, the groups said compliance with CCPA alongside legislation enacted or proposed by other states is creating a “patchwork of conflicting new restrictions on data collection and use along with other onerous obligations on businesses”.

Additionally, compliance with GDPR for multinational companies and the lack of a nationwide law means policy affecting the US consumer economy is being shaped by “Europe and a single state”, leading to different privacy protection for US consumers dependent on where they live and uncertainty for businesses, the groups said.

The organisations said in the letter: “Congress has the opportunity to adopt strong legislation that improves on the approaches being considered in the states and establishes consumer protections nationwide for the first time, backed by a strong federal regulator while preserving state enforcement authority. The time is right for Congress to step in to adopt a new comprehensive data privacy law that protects consumers and establishes clear, enforceable standards that apply to all consumers and businesses nationwide.”