Retail Privacy

Retailers Call on Congress to Pass Comprehensive Federal Privacy Legislation 

U.S. and global consumers are driving change in retail like never before. Ubiquitous internet access coupled with changing consumer values, preferences, and lifestyles, have led to significant disruption in the industry. This digital revolution continues to transform the way customers interact with retailers and buy products. And the pace and depth of these changes are both unprecedented and accelerating. Retailers are adapting to this new consumer landscape through the pursuit of transformative innovation. The convergence of retail and technology (RTech) means that the retail business model has fundamentally changed, resulting in a business imperative to meet the desires of highly empowered consumers who have many choices for how and where to shop. To thrive in this era, retailers must maintain and deepen trust in customer relationships.   

Retailers Use Customer Data to Benefit Customers  

Despite the rapid transformation of the retail ecosystem, our members’ core business remains straight forward – to sell products and services to customers. To do so, retailers have always sought to know their customers well in order to serve them better.   

While methods and technologies may have changed, leading retailers are guided by this simple purpose: to better serve customers. It is why we care so deeply about the national conversation on privacy we are having today.   

Retailers Support a Pragmatic Approach to Privacy 

RILA believes that a federal privacy framework should be designed to protect consumers and provide clear rules of the road for individuals, businesses, and the government.   

Retailers’ guiding principle on consumer privacy is that data should be used responsibly to benefit customers. We encourage policymakers to be guided by that principle when considering the practical impact, a privacy framework will have on consumers.   

6 Critical Elements To A Pragmatic And Workable Approach To Privacy At Scale: 

  1. Customers should have reasonable control, access, correction, and deletion rights of their personal information. 
  2. Preemption of state laws to set clear expectations for all consumers and reduce state-level burdens on interstate commerce. 
  3. Accountability for every sector within the data ecosystem by enshrining responsibilities to consumers in-law. 
  4. A risk-based approach to privacy is essential. Critical to this approach is a precise and targeted definition of personal information. 
  5. Create incentives like safe harbors for good faith actors to go beyond baseline privacy requirements. 
  6. Retailers support fair, consistent, and equitable enforcement of privacy laws by an empowered Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General. 

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