May 2022 Privacy Points

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Is privacy dead? The answer to that question should always be a resounding “NO!”  This question seems to be a favorite parlor game for lawyers, journalists, technologists, et al.

I want to make my position clear; privacy is a human right - it can’t be dead. Saying privacy is dead is like saying the statute of limitations on your civil rights has expired.  That’s not possible – privacy is a fundamental right.

Washington state has the proud distinction of being one of 11 states (link external) in the U.S. that recognizes a right to privacy in its state constitution. See Article 1, Section 7. Despite much of the current debate whether the right to privacy is going to be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, there is still an implied right of privacy in the U.S. Constitution; although technically the word “privacy” never appears in the document.

More importantly the United Nations has found privacy to be a human right, which I think is the correct way to think about it. Humans will always need and deserve privacy regardless of their background or socioeconomic status and as such, it can never be “dead.”

Upcoming State Agency Meeting

The Quarterly State Agency Privacy Forum meeting is Thursday, May 26 at 10 a.m. This meeting is for state agency employees with an interest or connection to privacy work in their agencies. We will hear about the Department of Licensing’s privacy and data stewardship program and the Office of Privacy and Data Protection’s (OPDP) strategic plan, along with other current privacy topics. Please email for an invite and link.

Upcoming Presentation:

On Tuesday, May 24, I will be presenting at the IT Project Management Community of Practice on privacy considerations for project managers. The presentation will cover what privacy is, how its implemented privacy and when to involve privacy in projects. I’ll also cover how privacy can be incorporated into the Agile methodology. Anyone with a .gov or .edu email address who is interested in Agile Project Management may attend. Email for the invite and link.

In case you missed it – Privacy Notice webinar

The OPDP hosted a webinar last month on the importance of privacy notices. Many recent bills considered by the state Legislature, as well as federal legislation touch on the requirements of privacy notices. If you want to learn about privacy notices and the current debate surrounding their usefulness, please visit our website for the presentation and slide deck.

See you next month with more updates from our office!


Katy Ruckle

State Chief Privacy Officer