Updated April 26, 2021 at 11:13am: The Washington State Privacy Act has not passed, missing the chance for a vote before the Washington State Legislature adjourned on Sunday April 25, 2021.
Updated April 21, 2021 at 8:45am: Truyo has learned that the bill is still being discussed as recently as last night with movement towards a compromise.
Updated April 14, 2021 at 8:30am: A representative of Washington State Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D) said he believes “the bill remains alive through the end of the legislative session.” Though the April 11th deadline to vote on non-fiscal bills has passed, sources say that a compromise is being discussed.
Updated April 12, 2021 at 11:30am: Sunday night’s House session ended without a vote on the Washington Privacy Act. The House proposed twenty-five amendments to the bill that weren’t debated prior to the end of the session, not allowing for a vote. At this time, it is unclear if the bill will still be under consideration. We will update as we learn more.
The state of Washington has made alterations to the proposed consumer privacy act, SB 5062, in the hopes that it can be the latest privacy legislation to pass. Previous attempts to pass the Washington Privacy Act have been halted due to disagreement on the limited private right of action. In an effort to compromise, adjustments have been made to that portion of the bipartisan bill.
The law would pertain to legal entities that conduct business in Washington or produce products or services that are targeted to Washington residents. They must also meet the following criteria:
during a calendar year, control or process the personal data of 100,000 or more Washington residents or
derive over 25% of their gross revenue from the sale of personal data and process or
control the personal data of 25,000 or more Washington residents.
Next Steps for Washington State Lawmakers
On March 6, 2021 the state Senate voted 48-1 to push the legislation forward. The bill is expected to pass the House but reconciling it with the Senate version will be the next key milestone. If passed, the Washington Privacy Act would give consumers the right to access, correct, and delete personal data collected by companies. It would also call on businesses to issue privacy notices and implement reasonable security standards.
Previous Attempts to Pass Legislation
Similar versions of the bill have been passed twice by the state Senate but met their demise when voted on by the House. The WPA failed when the two chambers could not come to an agreement on enforcement provisions that allowed consumers a private right of action in past iterations. The way the bill stands today, the Attorney General can investigate and impose penalties on companies who are not in compliance.
With the support of the House for this vote, Washington state would join California and Virginia as the third state to have comprehensive legislation to give access to and safeguard consumers’ personal information.