Statement from Rep. Zack Hudgins, D-Tukwila, on the Washington Privacy Act
No version of the Washington State Privacy Act (Senate Bill 5376) was voted out of the State House of Representatives before last Wednesday’s cutoff.
This means that, without some extraordinary effort, the Washington Privacy Act will not be considered until next year.
Throughout the course of the legislative session, numerous hours were spent working on this legislation. While we are heading in the right direction, there remain concerns about enforcement, facial recognition, definitions, process, and rights.
I would like to thank the Governor’s Office for their efforts in bringing the House and Senate together, even if we did not get agreement this session. The governor’s staff deserves extra credit for trying to move us toward positive privacy protections for Washingtonians.
It is important to me that we not let the siren call of “getting a bill done” be more attractive than good policy. The need for regulation in the area of protecting people’s privacy is vital, and we must ensure it is done properly.
We must continue to focus on consent and consumers, and we need to find a balance between privacy and innovation. Technology has made our lives better in so many ways, but as we navigate the issue of privacy and facial recognition technologies, we must involve the communities most affected by it.
While we were not able to accomplish all of this in a single legislative session, we know much more than when we began. As we head into interim, I hope to continue having robust discussions with stakeholders to craft good, strong policy that protects all the people of Washington state.