Response to President Biden's op-ed on Privacy Legislation in the Wall Street Journal | ANA Government Relations | ANA

Response to President Biden's op-ed on Privacy Legislation in the Wall Street Journal

Response to President Biden's op-ed on Privacy Legislation in the Wall Street Journal

Washington, D.C. (January 12, 2023) - We share President Biden’s desire to enact strong national data privacy legislation (Republicans and Democrats, Unite Against Big Tech Abuses, Jan. 11, 2023) and have been advocating for legislation to do just that. In developing that legislation, however, it is critically important that Congress adopt policies that distinguish between harmful practices that should be prohibited and responsible data practices (like advertising) that provide valuable information to consumers and are essential to innovation and economic growth.

Personalized ads tailored to groups of people with common interests deliver real benefits to consumers, advertisers, publishers, and the economy. A recent NERA Economic Consulting study found that “telling consumers about previously unknown options facilitates competition. Advertising lowers product prices, encourages product innovation, and narrows the differences in access and price for goods between demographic groups.”

Small- and medium-sized businesses depend on data to personalize advertising, like local restaurants that only wish to reach potential diners within driving distance or niche businesses who use interest-related data to find customers for their products all over the world. Digital advertising generated $189 billion in revenue in 2021, and that advertising revenue funds the most popular free and low-cost content and services across the internet. In fact, one study estimated the value of free, advertising-supported content to the median consumer in 2017 at $30,000 per year.

The ANA and other leading advertising trade associations in the Privacy for America coalition continue to urge Congress to enact meaningful privacy legislation that enhances privacy protections for all Americans while preserving the countless societal benefits made possible by the advertising-supported internet.

The Privacy for America framework addresses several concerns cited by the President by prohibiting the use of personal data for stalking and similar indefensible purposes, preventing companies from obtaining sensitive information without express consent, and adding robust safeguards for minors that go beyond current federal law. In short, it would stop harmful and unexpected data practices while allowing beneficial practices that drive innovation, growth, and consumer benefit. We continue to stand ready to work with the President and Congress to enact a preemptive federal data privacy law that accomplishes these objectives.


The ANA’s (Association of National Advertisers) mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, brands and businesses, the industry, and humanity. The ANA serves the marketing needs of 20,000 brands by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed by the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of U.S. and international companies, including client-side marketers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). The ANA creates Marketing Growth Champions by serving, educating, and advocating for more than 50,000 industry members that collectively invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

John Wolfe
Director of Communications
Office: 212.455.8011
Cell: 914.659.8663