April 2021 Privacy Points

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Welcome spring! Sunshine! And warmer weather!

The state Legislature is in its final stretch of the regular session, which is scheduled to end April 25, 2021.  House Bill 1127, which we’ve been following closely, will have many impacts to employers, schools, and other places of business in Washington state that are collecting COVID-19 data electronically for health screening purposes.

The bill has passed the Legislature and is expected to become law, effective immediately when signed by the Governor. OPDP is working on guidance and a privacy notice template that entities subject to the law can use. We expect to release more information later this month.

The proposed Washington Privacy Act (Senate Bill 5062) did not clear an April 11 cut-off deadline in the House in order to move forward, but it could still be revived before the session ends.  The Cybersecurity bill (SB 5432) has passed both chambers though and is expected to be signed into law shortly.

We will do a full legislative recap in May on all of this session’s impacts as it relates to privacy in Washington.

State agency engagement:

Our office has been busy meeting with state agencies to discuss the privacy assessment survey and get feedback on what else agencies hope to see from OPDP. These conversations have provided great ideas for training and other helpful information.  We plan to discuss more OPDP initiatives and relay some of the top priorities raised by agencies in our next State Agency Privacy Forum.  Until then, thank you to those agencies who took the time to meet with us and we will be continuing our outreach.

April Webinar:

Please join us for our next webinar on Thursday, April 29, 10 am to 11 am, where we will cover data classification, data categorization, and personal information.

State Office of the Chief Information Officer policy requires agencies to classify data based on the information's sensitivity. All jurisdictions can use this type of system for better data management. This month’s webinar will cover several topics, including:

  • The benefits of data classification.
  • The connection to other privacy and security controls.
  • Practical considerations when classifying personal information.

Please email privacy@ocio.wa.gov for the link to the WebEx session.

Additional OPDP resources:

News items that caught OPDP’s attention this month include:

See you next month with more updates from our office!

Katy Ruckle

State Chief Privacy Officer