The chief executives of more than 50 companies on Tuesday urged congressional leaders to pass legislation to strengthen data privacy protections for consumers. In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as the chairs of the congressional committees that oversee consumer protections and technology, members of the Business Roundtable also urged lawmakers to create an “a national privacy framework to enable continued innovation and growth in the digital economy.”
The chief executives who signed the letter included Amazon.com’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos, Bank of America’s (BAC) Brian Moynihan, Comcast’s (CMCSA) Brian Robers, Target’s (TGT) Brian Cornell, and Walmart’s (WMT) Doug McMillon. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and chair of the business group, also signed the letter.
“There is now widespread agreement among companies across all sectors of the economy, policymakers and consumer groups about the need for a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy law that provides strong, consistent protections for American consumers,” the letter said.
The executives said they want consumers to have confidence that their personal information being treated responsibly by companies.
“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 data privacy law.”
They said congress needs to act to ensure consumers are not confused about their rights and protections due to variations in state laws.
“We urgently need a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy law to ensure consumer trust and establish a stable policy environment in which new services and technologies can flourish within a well-understood legal and regulatory framework,” the executives said. “Innovation thrives under clearly defined and consistently applied rules.”
The Business Roundtable was formed in the 1970s to influence public policy issues, and comprises chief executives of some of the largest companies in the US.