In an election season in which it seems Americans cannot agree on much, a new poll shows that data privacy and security reform is a unifying issue.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) has released the findings of a poll shedding light on American voters’ perception of the legal landscape for data privacy and security breaches. The results illuminate how voters on both sides of the aisle view the specter of breaches, and the role of both private lawsuits and government regulation. The poll also shows that Americans support many legal reform efforts, such as the standardization of breach notification laws, across party lines. The broad consensus indicates that reform in this area would be both appropriate and popular.
According to the poll, which was conducted using interviews with 800 registered voters nationwide, there is broad non-partisan consensus on many legal reform issues, including support for a national breach standard and for protecting companies from suit if they are proactive in their data security efforts:
- 86 percent of respondents supported creating a single, national standard for notifying people of a data breach, and holding companies accountable for keeping their customers’ data secure. This number included 83 percent of Republications, 93 percent of Democrats, and 77 percent of Independents.
- 69 percent of respondents, including 77 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats, and 64 percent of Independents, supported limiting class action lawsuits to identity theft, fraudulent activity in accounts, or other financial harm.
- 75 percent of respondents thought that a company should not be sued if it quickly notifies its customers, provides free credit monitoring to anyone whose information was exposed, and fixes the security problems in its systems.
- 70 percent thought a company should not be sued if it had made significant investments in cybersecurity and had an industry-leading database security program.
The poll results were released and discussed at ILR’s annual Legal Reform Summit, which took place in Washington, D.C., October 26, 2016.
Check out the poll for more findings, which can help inform legislative priorities and promote bipartisan cooperation on these important issues.