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Washington Privacy Act Overview & Bill Summary

The Washington Privacy Act passed the Senate during the 2019 legislative session but was not adopted by the House before the cutoff for legislative action this session. A tweet from the sponsor of the bill in the Senate indicated that they would continue working on gaining support for the legislation next session.

Here are links to our summary descriptions of the latest bills (Senate 2SSB 5376 and the ITED Striker Amendment) as well as news about the process that we posted during the 2019 session:

Update: Special Session of Appropriations Committee Saves Washington Privacy Act for Another Week
There was a special executive session of the House Appropriations Committee on around two hours notice yesterday evening to consider 2SSB 5376 – the Washington Privacy Act. It was the last day for a bill to be referred out of the Appropriations Committee for a floor vote. The Appropriations Committee decided to allow the Washington Privacy Act a few more days with the hope that a consensus can be reached on the text of a bill that can be passed.

No Vote Held in Last Scheduled Appropriations Committee Hearing
The clock appears to have run out on the Washington Privacy Act in the 2019 legislative session in Washington State. It was a packed agenda for the House Appropriations Committee, and the Committee did not vote on the Senate version of the Washington Privacy Act (2SSB 5376) or the various amendments that were proposed.

Initial Look at the Current House ITED Version
The Washington Privacy Act took another step closer to adoption last night as striker amendment H2692.1 was approved by the House Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations Committee passed the prior House version of the bill, so this will in all likelihood setup a reconciliation between the House and Senate versions of the Washington Privacy Act in the next three weeks or so after the full House votes on it.

Summary of Washington Privacy Act after Senate Passes
The Washington state Senate voted 46-1 this week to adopt the Washington Privacy Act (SB 5376). The bill was introduced by Senator Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) in January. If adopted by the House, Washington would become the second state to adopt a major addition to its consumer privacy law since Cambridge Analytica last March. It follows the lead of California which passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) last June although it is in some ways more similar to aspects of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

WaPA in Senate Ways & Means
The Washington State Senate Ways & Means Committee held a public hearing on the Washington Privacy Act (SSB 5376) (and subsequently approved it). The Substitute Senate Bill was approved by the Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology on a 11-0 vote earlier this month and referred to Ways & Means.

Notes from Washington Privacy Act Hearing
The Washington State Senate Committee on the Environment, Energy & Technology held a public hearing yesterday on SB 5376, the Washington Privacy Act, which was proposed in the Washington legislature last week. Senator Carlyle, the prime sponsor of the bill, is also the chair of this committee. After a brief summary of the proposed privacy bill, there were a few different speakers that commented on the legislation.

Washington State Considering New Privacy Act – SB 5376
The Washington state legislature is now considering a new privacy law to address data privacy, provide data subject access rights and regulate the development of facial recognition technology. The Washington Privacy Act was introduced into the state senate last week as SB 5376.