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Broad Data Privacy Bill Sails Through Washington Senate

Feb. 15, 2020, 12:05 AM

The Washington Senate has passed a comprehensive privacy bill that would give state residents new data rights.

The Washington Privacy Act (SB 6281), which Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D) introduced in January, passed on a 46-1 vote.

The bill, the likely legislative vehicle for a potential new state privacy law this year, would give residents the right to know who is using their data and the right to opt out of some data processing.

“This bill carefully, responsibly takes the best practices from Europe, California and other states to build a data privacy regulatory framework that will help set a standard and lead the nation in bringing our data privacy laws into the 21st century,” Carlyle said in a statement.

The bill will now head to the House for likely consideration. A similar privacy measure failed in that chamber in 2019.

Other states, including New York and New Jersey, also are weighing privacy legislation. The U.S. Congress has yet to reach an agreement on a possible framework.

Enforcement of the provisions in the bill would rest with the Washington attorney general—unlike the California Consumer Privacy Act, which gives that state’s residents a limited right to sue over data breaches.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at