As business leaders representing every sector of the economy, we know that technology fosters economic growth and opportunity. Data and digital platforms are essential to competitiveness in today’s marketplace. Business Roundtable CEOs are committed to advancing policies that maximize U.S. technology advantages while safeguarding data and technology in a complex global environment. 

The CEOs of the Business Roundtable urge the incoming Administration and Congress to take up and advance the following policies and urgent strategic priorities over the course of 2021.

Review the full policy recommendations or explore by issue:

Business Roundtable urges the federal government to take five actions to bridge the digital divide so that all Americans can stay connected. America’s leading employers are calling on lawmakers to enact the following:

  1. Establishing an emergency connectivity benefit to support broadband for low-income households as a transition to comprehensive Lifeline reform;
  2. Clarifying and expanding the E-Rate program to support student and teacher connectivity needs;
  3. Funding the purchase of connected devices for e-learning;
  4. Accelerating broadband buildout in unserved areas; and
  5. Supporting access to online healthcare services.

Read the full policy recommendations.

Enact a National Consumer Privacy Law.

Today, American consumers do not feel in control of their personal data and how it is collected, used, shared – and protected. At the same time, U.S. privacy laws are highly fragmented across industries and jurisdictions, creating a patchwork of regulations, which hurts both consumers and companies.

That is why Business Roundtable members are calling on U.S. policymakers to adopt a national privacy law. The CEOs of America’s leading companies believe that such a law must strengthen protections for consumers and foster U.S. competitiveness and innovation while also addressing fragmentation and achieving some degree of interoperability with international privacy frameworks.

Working with companies from virtually every sector of the U.S. economy, Business Roundtable has developed a framework for legislation that establishes individual data privacy rights and provides clear obligations for how companies handle personal data by establishing a national standard for privacy.

Enhance the Nation’s Cybersecurity Posture.

American businesses face an unprecedented level of attacks in cyberspace that continue to grow in severity, number, and sophistication each year. As cyber threats have continued to escalate, the value of the digital products and services that criminals are targeting has also grown. Digital technologies are essential to American life and commerce. The nation’s economic security depends on the ability of U.S. companies to effectively defend their networks, safeguard their data, and provide secure and resilient services. Business Roundtable recognizes that effective cybersecurity protection requires a strong partnership between the public and private sectors who together must prioritize cybersecurity policies and initiatives that enable better defense against cyber threats. 

Cybersecurity Goals

Business Roundtable supports policies that:

  1. Enhance cyber threat information sharing between the public and private sector.
  2. Promote the continued development of voluntary, industry-led, risk-based cybersecurity standards.
  3. Combat fraud by building a trusted and resilient digital identity ecosystem.

Align Digital Policies Domestically and Abroad.

Business Roundtable companies must navigate a growing array of cybersecurity and privacy laws and regulations at the state, federal, and global level. These requirements create a complicated patchwork of requirements across the U.S. and globe, creating compliance burdens that hinder innovation without offering measurable gains in security or consumer privacy.

Business Roundtable supports policies that promote the alignment and harmonization of cybersecurity and privacy regulations and frameworks.

Protect Cross-Border Data Flows

Businesses in every country and sector depend upon data flows to operate, deliver products and services, grow, innovate, and prosper. Data flows drive foreign investment, create jobs, and open new doors for companies in all sectors and nations. Unfortunately, many foreign governments are erecting barriers to modern business activities and international trade by passing laws and regulations that restrict data storage, content, access, and use. As this trend continues, these measures are having unintended consequences by decreasing foreign business investments, impeding business and consumer access to innovative products and services, and hindering economic growth.

Business Roundtable seeks to minimize barriers to international trade, including restrictions on cross-border data flows, and encourages the U.S. Government to advance this priority in ongoing trade negotiations in other international jurisdictions.

Promote Globally Competitive Policy Frameworks for Technology.

While the United States has always been a world leader in technology, public policies have not kept pace with the rapidly evolving marketplace. Costly and outdated regulatory policies often stand in the way of maximizing the benefits of data and technology and threaten the ability of American companies to grow and proposer over the next decade and beyond.

Business Roundtable supports competitive policy frameworks that foster innovation and accelerate the societal and economic benefits of technology.

Encourage Federal IT Modernization

There are certain actions that only the federal government can take to be a partner to industry in national cyber defense. By modernizing its own IT infrastructure, the federal government ensures that it can carry out important missions that protect our nation’s private sector networks from major cyber-attacks and deliver essential citizen services.

Business Roundtable supports policies that incentivize the federal government to improve federal cyber resiliency through modernization and investment in emerging technologies that raise the level of security in both the public and private sectors.

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