Even “while the benefits of data are immense,” the risks are high, too, warned Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS) as he argued for a national privacy law.

Writing recently in the Washington Times, he said that the pandemic-driven “surge in Internet usage has created new opportunities for the misuse of data,” further exacerbated by corporate failures “to protect user data from misuse and unwanted collection and processing.”

In response, he had introduced comprehensive privacy legislation in 2020, the SAFE Data Act (S. 4626)

“Many state legislatures are proposing their own state privacy laws and some have already taken effect. As more states act, these laws would create a patchwork of regulations across the U.S. that would generate confusion and raise compliance costs for organizations operating across state lines. This would stifle innovation and threaten small business entrepreneurs. If companies utilizing data struggle to keep up with fragmented state laws, we cannot expect consumers to trust these companies to protect their data.”