It’s Time for a National Privacy Law in the US
January 12, 2021
Consumer data privacy is no longer a necessary evil but a competitive differentiator for any company participating in the global economy. The EU’s GDPR represents the world’s most comprehensive regulation for privacy best practices, holding companies to stringent standards for data collection, storage and use.
US national privacy law
Many countries have followed suit in recent years by adopting similarly aggressive privacy laws that reflect a greater dedication to data protection.
In stark contrast, the US remains one of the few major players in the global economy without national privacy legislation. Some states have enacted privacy laws, and the federal government has enacted industry-specific laws — HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and FCRA — but there is no single, homogeneous enforceable set of data privacy guidelines that all US companies are required to follow.
Having uniform, federal requirements for data privacy has multiple advantages. First, it will allow an effective way to enforce these regulations, prompting data collectors to take these regulations more seriously. Second, it will enable technology providers to design solutions that specifically aid in protecting sensitive consumer data. Data collectors (i.e., companies that have their customers’ data) want to comply with regulations but are overwhelmed with the variation in requirements by state.
The status quo is putting American consumers at risk and businesses at a distinct disadvantage both at home and globally, due to the reluctance of consumers to do business with them. A national privacy mandate could help US businesses reap the benefits that more stringent privacy practices can provide.