WASHINGTON—The National Retail Federation launched a Center for Consumer Privacy and Innovation during its annual convention this week.
The center will produce research, track privacy legislation and educate the public and policymakers about the benefits, convenience and value they derive from the technology retailers develop. The effort is intended to ensure that government regulation does not harm innovative aspects of the retail economy, NRF said.
“Retailers recognize the importance of and value the trust placed in their hands by their customers,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “The Center for Consumer Privacy and Innovation will provide insight and policy expertise to educate lawmakers as they strive to properly balance consumer protections with retail innovation.”
“Retailers endeavor each day to earn and maintain a customer’s trust and loyalty,” Shay said. “There is always another competitor across the street or across the globe eager to provide better products and services at the best possible prices. Unfortunately, public policy aimed at protecting consumer privacy could result in unintended consequences that harm continued innovation designed to benefit the consumer.”
NRF said the mission of the center is “to ensure that government regulation does not restrict the benefits and services customers currently enjoy in their relationships with retailers, nor those that will be developed in the future.”
The NRF said it believes “legislation that protects personal information should be transparent for consumers and extend obligations to all businesses that handle personal data.”
The center will help the NRF advocate for legislative approaches that balance the need to protect personal information with “the legitimate interests of businesses that use information to better serve their customers,” it said.
Editor-in-Chief Allison Zisko first joined HFN in 1998 and spent many years covering the tabletop category before widening her scope to all home furnishings. In her current role, she oversees all aspects of HFN, including its print and digital products, and represents the brand at home and abroad through presentations, panel discussions and HFN’s podcast, The Inside Scoop.