Majority of Americans surveyed also favor federal privacy legislation over individual state regulations
Washington, D.C., November 18, 2021 – A recent study from Privacy for America reveals that nearly all Americans surveyed (92%) believe it is important for Congress to pass new legislation to protect consumers’ personal data, and a majority (62%) favor federal regulation over individual state regulations. As the COVID-induced digital transformation of American life continues, 4-in-5 voters (81%) support a national standard that outright prohibits harmful ways of collecting, using and sharing personal data.
The study was conducted among 1,524 Americans across a demographically representative cross section of U.S. registered voters to better understand the impact and concerns regarding the current state of privacy in the country. Additional findings include:
- Voters find common ground on privacy legislation. Virtually all Democrat (95.4%), Independent (92.0%) and Republican (89.3%) voters surveyed report that it is very or somewhat important for Congress to pass federal privacy legislation. In addition to widespread bipartisan support, there is near universal agreement across age, race and gender that passing new data privacy legislation is important.
- Voters are also more motivated to protect themselves than punish companies. Voters favor regulation that protects their data from misuse or abuse (43%), but their support is driven by a desire for protection rather than to punish tech companies.
- Privacy in the age of COVID is an urgent matter. For 40% of Americans, the desire for data privacy regulations is greater now than in the past. Leading concerns include cyber fraud and criminal activity (65%) and the security of digital financial activities such as online shopping, banking and bill paying (40%).
“These findings make clear that an overwhelming majority of Americans want Congress to pass nationwide privacy legislation that protects all Americans, no matter where they live,” said Stuart Ingis, advisor to the Privacy for America coalition. “In today’s highly polarized political climate, comprehensive privacy legislation is a rare bipartisan opportunity for Congress to deliver real protections for Americans and small businesses seeking to recover from the pandemic and protect the responsible use of data that drives our economy. We urge lawmakers from both parties to come together to make a national privacy law a reality in the United States.”
Privacy for America is a coalition comprised of top trade organizations and other companies representing a broad cross-section of the American economy that is working to support enactment of comprehensive, federal consumer privacy legislation. The coalition has outlined a new paradigm for a national privacy law that would prohibit certain harmful uses of consumer data outright while preserving the benefits that come from responsible use of data.
Additional information can be found here.
Privacy for America, in partnership with Research Narrative and InnovateMR, surveyed 1,524 registered voters, across a demographically representative cross-section of U.S. registered voters ages 18+, balancing for age, ethnic, and gender representation. The survey was conducted online from August 2-17, 2021.