My Health, My Data Act passes Senate

OLYMPIA – Yesterday, the Washington State Senate passed a substitute version of House Bill 1155, the My Health, My Data Act, increasing consumer protections regarding the collection, sharing, and sale of consumer health data. Many consumer products collect and share data on body temperature, heart rate, menstruation cycles, online healthcare searches, and geographical data of which healthcare providers are visited by consumers without their knowledge. Introduced by State Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-Bellevue), the bill empowers protections regarding vulnerable healthcare data. 

“My Health, My Data protects the independence and dignity of individuals when they make healthcare decisions,” said. Rep. Slatter. “It prevents vulnerabilities in the technological era that are being used to target and exploit consumers who may not be aware of vast amount of data that everything from our watches and phones collect.” 

Substitute House Bill 1155 provides a consumer the right to access, delete, and withdraw consent from the collection, sharing, or selling of their consumer health data. A consumer may exercise these rights by submitting a request to a regulated entity at any time. A regulated entity such as a data broker must establish a secure way for a consumer to submit a request to exercise any health data rights and respond to the consumer within 45 days of receipt of the request in writing of any action taken or not taken. 

Additionally, consumer health data may not be collected or shared without prior consent to the extent necessary to provide a product or service requested by the consumer. A health data privacy policy that discloses specified information such as the categories of health data collected and shared, the purpose for which health data is collected, and how a consumer can exercise their rights will be required by regulated entities. This provides healthcare providers and tech companies needed flexibility, while protecting the interests of consumers. 

“I am grateful for the collaboration of Attorney General Bob Ferguson on this issue,” added Rep. Slatter. “We are experiencing a very unique intersection of technology, consumer rights, and healthcare law in the wake of constitutional protections being reversed.” 

With the passage of this legislation, Washington takes a large step forward in protecting sensitive healthcare data. House Bill 1155 is part of a comprehensive pack of legislation from House Democrats in respond to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to upend constitutional protections for reproductive healthcare.  

The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 27 to 21.