In the US, there is no single, comprehensive federal law regulating the collection and use of personal data. The inconsistent nature of the current protection for data and privacy has largely been accepted as a consequence of the balancing act between what is a Federal responsibility and what is a state responsibility.

However, against the backdrop of recent controversies involving personal data and developments in European legislation, there is an emerging trend in some US states which suggests that new, national privacy legislation may be a necessity.