Following the passage of the U.S. government’s wide-ranging spending and tax relief package, the National Retail Foundation applauded the budget deal for being what it called an effective means of giving the retail economy a much-needed shot in the arm.
David French, senior vice president for government relations for NRF, explained that the mere fact of guaranteeing funding for the core elements of the federal government removes much of the threat of another shutdown and eases consumers’ worries about going out and spending a little.
“Congress has finally taken away the threat of a government shutdown that has threatened our nation’s economy the past few months and given both consumers and businesses some certainty on what to expect in the future,” French said in a statement. “In addition to funding the government, this legislation is the first step toward fundamental tax reform that our economy so urgently needs.”
French also outlined provisions that Congressional legislators included in the funding bill to make the process of reporting data breaches to authorities easier on retailers. In particular, the burden of liability was lessened when retailers voluntarily report any potential event to government officials. Instead of waiting months or even years to compile data internally, the new rules could spur more immediate collaboration between private retailers and public watchdog agencies. French hoped that this would encourage a more open and transparent effort to battle the mounting problem of cybercrime in retail.
“Sharing information on cyberthreats will create an atmosphere of community vigilance that will ensure that consumer’s sensitive data is kept safe,” French said.