House bill would enhance internet privacy protections for consumers

OLYMPIARep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island) has authored a bill that would provide greater privacy protections for internet users. The bill, which will be introduced today, has garnered bipartisan support and was drafted in response to a measure passed in Congress last week allowing internet service providers (ISP) to sell the browsing information of their customers.

“Your internet service provider shouldn’t be able to sell or use private information like your browsing history without your consent,” Hansen said. “We have a strong bipartisan commitment to protecting privacy in this state, and if Congress won’t act to protect public privacy, then Washington state will.”

The bill would create new internet privacy protections enforceable under the Washington Consumer Protection Act, including:

  • Compelling transparency by making ISPs privacy policies available to customers so they know what to expect.
  • Protecting privacy by prohibiting ISPs from selling or using private information (such as a person’s browsing history) without consent.
  • Requiring ISPs to report to customers when they have been hacked and personal data has been breached so customers can protect themselves.

A copy of the draft legislation can be found here, with a summary found here.