Retailers Support DelBene Bill Providing Balanced Approach to Privacy Law

“The principles embodied by this legislation are critical to ensuring enactment of a balanced federal privacy law."

NRF Senior Vice President David French

WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation welcomed a new privacy bill introduced in the House today by Representative Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., saying it offers a balanced approach that has been missing in earlier measures considered in Congress.

“The principles embodied by this legislation are critical to ensuring enactment of a balanced federal privacy law that benefits consumers and businesses alike,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “By standardizing comprehensive privacy rules, the Act protects consumer data no matter where a consumer lives or which business handles the data.”

French’s comments came in a letter of support sent to DelBene, who chairs the pro-innovation New Democrat Coalition, one of the largest coalitions of House Democrats.

DelBene’s bill, the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act, would give consumers new control over the use of their sensitive personal information while providing businesses with a uniform framework on the collection, processing and disclosure of data. Consumers would have the right to opt out of the use of non-sensitive personal information in a way that would allow businesses to continue to provide products and services consumers expect. For sensitive personal information, businesses would be required to obtain a user’s opt-in approval, which processors and third parties would also be required to honor downstream.

The bill would establish uniform national standards for privacy law, a goal long sought by retailers, particularly national chains that operate in most if not all states. A uniform and comprehensive federal law would protect consumers everywhere while ensuring that nationwide businesses can apply those protections equally for consumers regardless of the state where they live.

The bill would also apply to all entities that handle sensitive personal information, unlike past privacy legislation that has routinely exempted some of the nation’s largest handlers of consumer data. Those “pitfalls of past federal privacy bills” would have allowed such businesses to avoid “the same standards that applied to Main Street businesses,” the letter said.

About NRF
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 $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 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.