In the wake of California’s landmark state privacy law and the absence of federal action, Washington is among a growing group of states taking steps to enact their own privacy laws. The recently introduced 2020 Washington Privacy Act (WPA)—sponsored by Senator Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle)—would
- give individuals the right to access, delete, correct and opt out of the sale of their personal information
- require companies to keep personal information secure
- prohibit companies from requiring individuals to pay to exercise their rights
While this bill follows a failed 2019 privacy bill we and other advocates opposed (due to insufficient protections and enforcement mechanisms), Washington lawmakers have a renewed opportunity to give their residents strong protections and be a privacy leader in 2020.
However, the WPA’s current language contains loopholes we believe should be addressed to ensure that companies meaningfully respect individuals’ choices. We recently joined Consumer Reports in a letter urging lawmakers to improve WPA’s current language and push back against any efforts to weaken it.