The Business Roundtable trade group asked House and Senate leaders in Congress for action on a “comprehensive consumer data privacy law that strengthens protections for consumers and establishes a national privacy framework to enable continued innovation and growth in the digital economy.”

In a Sept. 10 letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., among others, the business group urged Congress to pass such a bill “as soon as possible.” Business Roundtable members include some of the largest U.S. tech-sector firms including AT&T, Amazon, Accenture, Dell Technologies, and IBM.

“We urgently need a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy law to strengthen consumer trust and establish a stable policy environment in which new services and technologies can flourish within a well-understood legal and regulatory framework,” Business Roundtable said. “Innovation thrives under clearly defined and consistently applied rules.”

“As Chief Executive Officers of leading companies across industries, our companies reach virtually every American consumer and rely on data and digital platforms every day to deliver and improve our products and services,” the letter states. “Consumer trust and confidence are essential to our businesses. We are committed to protecting consumer privacy and want consumers to have confidence that companies treat their personal information responsibly.”

“We are also united in our belief that consumers should have meaningful rights over their personal information and that companies that access this information should be held consistently accountable under a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy law,” the letter states. It also says a national consumer data privacy statute would “ensure that consumers are not faced with confusion about their rights and protections based on a patchwork of inconsistent state laws.”

The tone of the Sept. 10 letter generally tracks with other tech-sector legislative requests to Congress in recent years on the subject of national data privacy regulation. While congressional committees have held numerous hearings on the subject, specific legislative proposals have failed thus far to create critical mass for action in Congress.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.