OLYMPIA – Today the House passed Senate Bill 6280 with a bipartisan 63-33 vote. SB 6280 creates regulations for the use of facial recognition technology by both the public and private sectors.
“When our privacy is at stake, we must take a hard look at this technology which could fundamentally alter the way we interact with government and business,” said Representative Debra Entenman (D-Kent), sponsor of similar facial recognition legislation in the House. “Facial recognition has repeatedly shown biases toward marginalized people, especially people of color; it is clear that this technology has issues that need to be addressed before its widespread use. This bill sets down strong moral guardrails that will protect all people’s right to privacy.”
The original bill required reporting requirements, testing for fairness, and training for law enforcement and government agencies to utilize facial recognition technology. The House amended the Senate’s bill to give local jurisdictions the authority to approve the technology and requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant for any use of facial recognition technology.
“We cannot let innovation or convenience get in front of our values of equity and the right to privacy,” said Rep. Zack Hudgins (D- Tukwila), chair of the Innovation, Technology, and Economic Development Committee . “We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues in the Senate to strike the right balance between embracing this exciting technology and protecting all of our residents.”
Because the bill was amended in the House, it will now go back to the Senate for concurrence.