"The Center for Consumer Privacy and Innovation will provide insight and policy expertise to educate lawmakers as they strive to properly balance consumer protections with retail innovation."NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay
WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation today announced the launch of a new Center for Consumer Privacy and Innovation, a retailer-led initiative intended to promote and protect innovation in the retail customer experience. The launch took place during NRF 2020 Vision: Retail’s Big Show, NRF’s annual convention.
“Retailers recognize the importance of and value the trust placed in their hands by their customers,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The Center for Consumer Privacy and Innovation will provide insight and policy expertise to educate lawmakers as they strive to properly balance consumer protections with retail innovation.”
The retail industry is increasingly driven by consumer data, harnessing new technologies and personalized solutions to deliver a seamless experience. Digital and mobile solutions, in particular, have enabled retailers to innovate at a greater speed to meet the demands of consumers.
As officials at the state and federal levels seek to regulate how personal information is protected and consumers are given control over data, the center will produce research, track privacy legislation, and educate the public and policymakers about the benefits, convenience and value they derive from the technology retailers develop. The effort is intended to ensure that government regulation does not harm innovative aspects of the retail economy.
“Retailers endeavor each day to earn and maintain a customer’s trust and loyalty,” Shay said. “There is always another competitor across the street or across the globe eager to provide better products and services at the best possible prices. Unfortunately, public policy aimed at protecting consumer privacy could result in unintended consequences that harm continued innovation designed to benefit the consumer.”
The center is a multimillion-dollar NRF initiative with a mission to ensure that government regulation does not restrict the benefits and services customers currently enjoy in their relationships with retailers, nor those that will be developed in the future. NRF believes legislation that protects personal information should be transparent for consumers and extend obligations to all businesses that handle personal data. The center will develop a roadmap and intellectual leadership for NRF and its allies to advocate for legislative approaches that balance the need to protect personal information with the legitimate interests of businesses that use information to better serve their customers.
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.