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Washington Privacy Act
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Washington Privacy Act overwhelmingly passed by state Senate

(Reuven Carlyle)

A privacy bill designed to restrict the use of facial recognition technology and provide information to consumers on how their data is being collected passed the Washington State Senate Wednesday.

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The bill passed by an overwhelming 46-1 margin, and enacts European consumer-data privacy protections.

Under SB-5376, consumers would be able to ask that companies delete pieces of data that companies like Facebook and Microsoft possess on them, and can even ask large companies to correct data that isn’t accurate.

Additionally, it would make it so state and local governments would not be permitted to use facial recognition for ongoing surveillance, with the only exception being a court order or emergency situation.

Companies using facial recognition technology would also be required to get consumer consent.

“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,” said Sen. Reuven Carlyle, the bill’s primary sponsor.

On the Senate floor promoting the measure, Carlyle likened the future under the bill to a credit report, “where you can check in and understand who’s been accessing it, and why, and to make corrections.”

It will next make its way to the floor of the House, and if passed, would cross Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk to be signed into law.

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