McMorris Rodgers on Data Privacy: America must remain a global leader in innovation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Republican leader on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, participated in a fireside chat at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Data Done Right Summit yesterday. She urged Congress to act on a single national standard for data privacy that protects consumers and promotes innovation. CLICK HERE or the image below to watch her fireside chat with Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the Chamber. 


I’m proud that America has led the world [in innovation]. It’s part of being a freedom loving country with free markets and free people who take their ideas and do something with them. In order for us to continue to lead the world it’s important that we tackle privacy.

I’m very concerned about a patch work developing if Congress doesn’t act. The potential of a patchwork of state laws on data privacy is very real and the confusion that it would cause for consumers. I do not see where it would help build trust and confidence that individuals and consumers would believe that their personal data privacy is being protected. For companies, a patchwork of laws is really impossible. The potential for conflict in what the law and standards are from state to state, makes it impossible for companies to operate when we all recognize that the internet doesn’t have any boundaries.


“GDPR is the wrong approach, and that’s where I think it’s critical that Congress is acting and that we are taking back the leadership when it comes to setting a privacy standard.

“When you have compliance costs that average anywhere from 1 to 10 million dollars, that is having a real impact on small businesses and on startupsI’ve talked with businesses in Eastern Washington who are pulling back because of the cost of trying to comply with the new rules coming out of GDPR. What we see is that the large companies are gaining market share so they’re doing well. That’s where I think it just reinforces how important it is that America lead.”


“One misconception is that GDPR would be okay for America. Another misconception is that the collectionany collection of data is harmful.

“It’s really important that we are distinguishing and we are clarifying that there are a lot of positive impacts with the collection of data. It’s still to be seen what innovation and what ideas are out there, things that we can’t even dream of today, that are going to positively impact our lives.” 


“It’s going to take bipartisan [and] bicameral support. And I would encourage the continued drumbeat on this issueWith the CCPA, the California law, taking effect early on in 2020, it’s important that Congress act now.” 

We just had the FTC commissioner and the Chairman in front of the committee. Continuing to impress upon Congress the importance of taking action this year, I think is critical. 

NOTE: McMorris Rodgers is a top advocate for a national standard for data privacy. She’s leading on the Energy and Commerce Committee to make sure privacy legislation protects consumers, promotes transparency, and keeps America on top as a global leader in innovation.

Read her data privacy op-eds:

– SEATTLE TIMES: “In order for our nation to maintain a robust internet economy and continue to be the best place in the world to innovate, [data privacy] questions require forward-thinking and thoughtful answers. That’s why this Congress must lead on a bipartisan solution that promotes innovation, protects consumers and sets clear rules for data privacy in America”. 

CLICK HERE to read McMorris Rodgers’ column and her 4 principles for data privacy legislation. 

– MORNING CONSULT: can you trust a system where in one state you may know how your data is used while in another you could be left in the dark? You can’t. With changing rules across state lines, there’s no way to guarantee the transparency and accountability that you rightfully expect.

CLICK HERE to read her op-ed on why a patchwork will leave consumer privacy vulnerable. 

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