August 2022 Privacy Points

Great news! OPDP is excited to announce its launch of the Privacy Basics for Washington State Employees training course, which will be available to all state agencies through the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) Learning Center.

The training will be mandatory for WaTech employees, and we strongly encourage other agencies to do so as well. Learning Center Agency Administrators have received instructions from DES about making the course available to state agency staff. For more information about accessing the training, please contact your Learning Center Agency Administrator, typically in human resources.

OPDP will also make the training available to anyone who is interested via the OPDP website later in September.

The training is intended to be a privacy primer for all employees to understand what privacy is, why it's important and how it is distinct from cybersecurity.

The course has three parts:

  • Intro to Privacy: An overview on personal Information, data categorization, and privacy harms and violations.
  • Privacy in the State of Washington: This covers privacy laws and policies, and state agency Privacy Principles.
  • Privacy in Practice: A deeper dive into agency and employee responsibilities, and privacy best practices.

Privacy Assessment Survey

The Privacy Assessment Survey link is posted on the our website along with the Survey Guidance Document and recorded walkthrough of this year's survey. The survey is largely the same as last year's with some differences that are highlighted in the guidance document. The deadline for completing the survey is Sept. 30, 2022.

September Webinar

Government agencies all over the world are taking a hard look at their use of automated decision systems (ADS) -- software that makes decisions or contributes to decisions that people and software make about benefits, health care, criminal justice, employment, and other hugely important issues. These systems can help agencies provide better service and create resourcing efficiencies, but also may introduce risks of algorithmic discrimination.

Last fall, OPDP's ADS Workgroup brought together state agencies, researchers, civil liberties advocates, and representatives from the communities that are most at risk of harms from discrimination.

Please join us for a webinar to discuss the workgroup's report, the state's next steps, and ongoing work regarding algorithm risks and regulations being considered beyond Washington. Speakers include workgroup facilitator Katy Ruckle, State Chief Privacy Officer, and workgroup member Jon Pincus. Jon is a researcher, software engineer, and strategist who has written extensively about automated decision systems and other interactions between software and equity.

Past positions include Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research; GM of Strategy Development in Microsoft's Online Services Group; and CTO, VP of Engineering, and VP of Products at Silicon Valley Startups. He was a member of the Automated Decision Systems Workgroup, and his current project is The Nexus of Privacy newsletter --

  • Topic: What are Automated Decision Systems - and why should you care?
  • Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
  • Time: 10am to 11am
  • Place: Zoom
  • Click to: Register on Zoom

In Case You Missed It:

OPDP hosted its Quarterly State Agency Privacy Forum meeting on Aug. 25. Among topics and resources shared were the Washington Health Care Authority's toolkit for confidential information for providers and guidance for sharing substance use disorder information. Both great resources for the privacy community!

See you next month with more updates from our office!

Katy Ruckle
State Chief Privacy Officer