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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Expands on His Call for New U.S. Privacy Legislation

“If companies in Silicon Valley want to regain the trust of consumers, a good place to start would be supporting a national privacy law that gives people a reason to trust that those companies will uphold their privacy, not violate it,” writes Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff in a commentary he authored for Politico.

“The United States does not have a single, overarching national privacy law to protect consumer information online,” Benioff noted. “Instead, we are starting to see proposals in different states that would create a patchwork of 50 different sets of regulations. For consumers, this leads to an unappealing future where one’s level of privacy would depend on a ZIP code. For companies, this framework would create complications and confusion in navigating their obligations to consumers living in different states.”

“There are models for how to strike the necessary balance between regulation that safeguards consumers and the innovation that fuels economic growth,” Benioff added. “Canada, Japan, Australia and other nations already have general privacy laws. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation—based on the principle that personal data fundamentally belongs to consumers, not companies—went into effect recently.”

In a CBS This Morning appearance last month, Benioff first called for a national privacy law in the U.S. similar to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe. “We really need in this country a national privacy law,” he said. “You can see it’s going into effect in Europe with GDPR. That means in Europe your data belongs to you, but in the United States, your data belongs to all these companies that are collecting it, and they can do with it basically whatever they want.”

Read the Politico commentary here.


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