The heads of AT&T, Amazon, Qualcomm, Comcast and Motorola joined calls for US politicians to deliver new nationwide privacy laws, replacing a current patchwork of state legislation.

They joined a total of 51 CEOs which signed a letter urging political action, in which executives argued consumers cannot be expected to understand the intricacies of state-level privacy regulations. They noted a user may be subject to several regional laws, based on where they live and the location of businesses providing “resources or services”.

Politicians were pressed to pass “a comprehensive consumer data privacy law that strengthens protections for consumers and establishes a national privacy framework” as soon as possible.

The CEOs backed a privacy framework released by non-profit CEO association Business Roundtable in December 2018, which would pre-empt existing state laws, giving consumers the right to know what personal data is collected and how it is used; control whether companies can sell their information; and correct or delete it.

However, the proposal limits the definition of personal data to identifiable information about an individual, which would prevent consumers from exercising control over anonymous or public information.

It would also explicitly deny the right for individuals to sue if the law is violated, leaving enforcement responsibility in the hands of the Federal Trade Commission and state attorney generals.