May 2021 Privacy Points

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The state Legislature has wrapped up the 2021 session and I want to update you on several pieces of legislation our office was tracking.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed Cybersecurity bill (SB 5432) on May 12. The measure, which becomes effective in July, establishes the Office of Cybersecurity (OCS) in law and outlines primary duties for the office as well as requiring several important cybersecurity initiatives. One of those initiatives calls on the Office of Privacy and Data Protection (OPDP) to collaborate with OCS and the Office of the Attorney General to report on best practices for data governance, data protection and model terms of data sharing contracts.

In other action:

  • House Bill 1127 concerning COVID-19 privacy was vetoed due to complications reconciling some of the important initiatives surrounding COVID-19 vaccination efforts.  However, the veto message recognized the bill as a “thoughtful, important proposal addressing privacy and confidentiality issues related to every person’s COVID-19 health data.”  In addition, the governor pledged to work to advance the policy goals of the bill.
  • The Washington Privacy Act did not pass this session but SSB 5152 (Vehicle and Driver Data) did pass. The measure will enhance data stewardship and privacy protections for vehicle and driver data handled by the Department of Licensing.
  • Also, while Senate Bill 5116 regulating procurement and use of automated decision systems did not pass, the Legislature approved a budget proviso creating a workgroup to “examine how automated decision making systems can best be reviewed before adoption and while in operation and be periodically audited to ensure that such systems are fair, transparent, accountable and do not improperly advantage or disadvantage Washington residents.”

I look forward to sharing more information about the workgroup and these other important initiatives as our implementation efforts get underway!

Data Classification Webinar

If you missed it, our April webinar on data classification, data categorization, and personal information is now posted on the OPDP website.

May Presentations

This month we will host the quarterly State Agency Privacy Forum and I will be presenting on GIS and Privacy at the Washington GIS Conference.  For more information on the conference please visit WAURISA - 2021 WA GIS Conference - Virtual.

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