Protecting Consumer Privacy and Consumer Preferences

Leading retailers want to see a federal approach to data privacy legislation designed to protect consumers, set customer expectations, and provide clear rules of the road for individuals, businesses, and governments. Despite the rapid transformation of the retail ecosystem, our members’ core business remains straight forward – to sell products and services to customers. Retailers have always sought to know their customers well in order to serve them better and are deeply invested in these long-term relationships.

Retailers Use Consumer Data to Benefit Customers  

Retailers utilize customer data to administer loyalty programs and provide other consumer benefits that must be considered in the national conversation on privacy. Maintaining strong customer relationships is why we care so deeply about this conversation. Retailers are prepared to accept the responsibility of new privacy requirements to create a national framework that applies to all parts of the data ecosystem, inspires consumer confidence, and recognizes the important relationship retailers build with their customers.

Retailers Support a Pragmatic Approach to Privacy 

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. Consumer Control, Access, Correction, and Deletion Rights. Customers should have reasonable control, access, correction, and deletion rights of their personal information. 
  2. National Privacy Framework. A sound privacy policy framework must be national in scope rather than a patchwork of fifty state laws. Strong, clear preemption of state laws is necessary to set clear expectations for all consumers nationwide and reduce state-level compliance burdens on interstate commerce.  
  3. Accountability for All Ecosystem Parties. Every sector within the data ecosystem should have a duty to its consumers. Enshrining uniform responsibilities for businesses in law will ensure accountability across all industry sectors.   
  4. Risk-based Practical Scope. A risk-based approach to privacy is essential. Critical to this approach are precise, targeted definitions of personal information clearly linked to areas where there is a real risk of tangible harm.  
  5. Incentives for Good Faith Actors. Retailers support creating incentives—like legal safe harbors—for good faith actors that go beyond baseline privacy requirements.  
  6. Strong and Fair Enforcement. Retailers support fair, consistent, and equitable enforcement of privacy laws by the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General.


  • Ensuring a Safe, Sustainable Future
  • Retail Works for All of Us
  • Privacy
  • Supporting Free Markets and Fostering Innovation

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