The Washington Privacy Act, which seeks to further the right to privacy for Washington citizens, passed committee 6-3 on March 2nd, 2020. This was tighter than expected, with some opposition from the right (1) who oppose and left (2) who still want stronger amendments.

Some of the updates from the committee include:

  • Lowered the scope threshold to 25k consumers (down from 50k), also lowered to 25% (from 50%) if companies are pure data brokers
  • Removes private right of action (the most contentious element), but confirms via an amendment authored by office of AG that normal consumer protection is available via the already enforceable Washington Consumer Protection Act. 
  • Lowers threshold to “reasonable necessary” from “adequate” in terms of allowing collection of data in the first place
  • Enhances the responsibilities of the Office of Privacy and Data Protection (OPDP) that needs to author items similar to the CCPA’s operating rules (including consideration of exemptions) 
  • Opt-in requirement and additional restrictions on facial recognition (including limits to law enforcement, but it does enable)

We will learn more on March 12 when it is set to pass.

Watch our analysis of the bill (as of 1/31/20) here.