Lawmakers in the state of Washington are reviewing the Washington Senate Bill 5062 which has been under discussion for the past two years, said Security Info Watch. The bill is expected to tackle data privacy in the style of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.
The bill, also called the Washington Privacy Act, will allow residents to identify the type of data to be collected by companies. It will also give them the right to review the said collected data in order to correct or delete the information.
With this bill, companies will be mandated to give users the chance to opt out of the data collection processing.
Data collection activities conducted by companies for different purposes such as advertising and targeted marketing have been a source of concern for Internet users not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world.
Security Info Watch commented that companies have the ability to collect information such as location and personal details from web browsers. These kinds of activities have been “largely unregulated” in the country.
Senator Reuven Carlyle said, “This is an issue that the public good requires us to engage in. This is not an existential, down-the-hall, academic issue.”
This is the third year that Carlyle will be trying to address information privacy concerns by proposing what will be among the strongest privacy laws in the US.
Carlyle’s attempts over the past two years have been questioned by some legislators and organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as his proposal is deemed “corporate-centric” and insufficient when it comes to securing users’ privacy.
This new proposal , SB 5062, has been approved by the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee and has been advanced for further study.
When passed, this law would affect business entities in the state that process the data of at least 100,000 people. This would also apply to organizations who get 25% or more their gross revenues from selling data while processing info of at least 25,000 people.
The regulations will be implemented by the Attorney General’s Office, which will operate under the mandate of the state’s Consumer Protection Act.
Jennifer Lee from the state’s ACLU still considers this bill “corporate-centric.” According to Lee, “this bill only provides an illusion of privacy protections, but not real privacy” as it lacks the right for attorneys and legal actions against violators, which some lawmakers agree with.