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Consumer Reports and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Letter on the 2020 Washington Privacy Act

The 2020 Washington Privacy Act (WPA) would extend to Washington consumers key baseline privacy protections: the right to access, delete, correct, and opt out of the sale of their personal information, and additional protections for sensitive data. This bill is a marked improvement over last year’s version, and we urge you to consider a number of adjustments to ensure that the bill is workable for consumers and to eliminate inadvertent loopholes that companies could exploit to avoid reforming their data practices—this is particularly important in light of early bad faith responses to  similar legislation, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

This bill provides consumers clear, affirmative rights that companies must respect: the right to delete, access, and controls over the sharing of data. The bill adds new obligations for companies like data security and non-discrimination (meaning that companies can’t treat you worse for exercising your rights). And in some ways, the 2020 WPA goes beyond the CCPA, such as by providing a right to correct information, and stronger protections for sensitive information.

But there are still some potential loopholes that need to be closed up to ensure that companies can’t go ahead with “business as usual” in spite of a consumer opt-out.