Will Washington’s Privacy Law be Next?

 

Washington Privacy Act (SB 5376) continues to move through the Washington legislature. Law makers are sussing through intricate data collection and facial recognition technology regulatory issues. Read more on the WA privacy bill action in this International Association of Privacy Professionals blog

The Washington State Chief Privacy Officer believes Washington has a “rare window to draw upon the lessons of European law and synchronize it” with American laws. The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in May 2018, exposing U.S. companies that process EU personal data to gigantic financial penalties for noncompliance.

It’s fitting that the State of Washington should lead in data privacy regulation. Microsoft, headquartered in Washington, is a huge supporter of WA SB5376. The tech giant waged a massive legal battle to fight U.S. prosecutors’ demand that the company  turn over customer data housed in their Ireland data center.

Microsoft is a strong advocate for data privacy, and sees privacy as a fundamental right, as do Europeans. U.S. state  privacy laws tend to focus on consumer privacy protection. Not on privacy as a fundamental right.

As U.S. federal privacy legislation ambles along, it will be fascinating to see how U.S. state and federal privacy laws interact. Some are calling for the supremacy of the anticipated federal law. Yet, states like California have led the way in privacy laws. Court battles are sure to ensue.

Stay tuned for more updates on WA law and more.

 

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