Washington Privacy Act Endorsed by the Connected Commerce Council

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 18, 2019 – In a letter sent to Members of the Washington Legislature, the Connected Commerce Council (3C) endorsed the Washington Privacy Act (SB 5376) in its current form. The bill passed the Senate on March 6 with bipartisan support and will now be taken up by a House committee. The initial hearing will be held on Friday, March 22.

“Increasing personal data privacy protections and improving data management practices is a goal shared by governments, industry, and the public,” said Jake Ward, President of 3C. “In its current form, the Washington Privacy Act has struck a delicate balance between individual protections and guarding against unintentionally harming millions of small businesses by limiting their ability to utilize essential digital platforms, tools, and marketplaces that rely on data and data analytics. I would urge the Washington House of Representatives not to make significant changes to the proposal.”

3C endorses the Washington Privacy Act’s commitment to:

  • Protect consumers by granting broad new rights to access and delete information about them that is held by organizations.
  • Require transparency, so consumers are informed about what data organizations collect about them and how that data is used.
  • Encourage companies to de-identify data by removing de-identified data from the definition of personal information.
  • Creatively uses the power of Attorney General oversight to encourage responsible behavior by exempting organizations from data collection consent requirements if they perform a data management risk analysis that is always available to the AG.
  • Utilize clear and intuitive definitions so compliance obligations are relatively straightforward and should not force small companies to engage expensive lawyers.
  • Authorize enforcement by only the Attorney General, ensuring that enforcement lawsuits will focus on harmful noncompliance and that technical legal violations will not bankrupt small businesses.

“3C supports a national data management law that raises standards and protections for everyone while allowing certainty for businesses of all sizes, no matter their home state,” Ward said. “As states, and ultimately Congress, consider the adoption of data protection laws, we encourage them to consider WPA – in its current form – as a model to be followed.”

3C will join local business groups and digitally empowered small businesses in Seattle, WA on March 20 to host a SkillsConnect event. The event will feature a skills workshop and a policy discussion with State Chief Privacy Officer, Alex Alben. The event will be held in downtown Seattle, at Galvanize (111 S Jackson St), from 5:00pm-8:00pm.