House unanimously passes Rep. Norma Smith’s bill to establish Office of Privacy and Data Protection

Rep. Norma Smith’s bill to establish the Office of Privacy and Data Protection received unanimous approval by the House Monday. The office would work with state agencies to establish best practices to safeguard private information of Washingtonians and serve as a resource for concerned consumers.

“In our increasingly digital world, we need to do everything we can to ensure the personal information of our citizens is protected from those with nefarious motives,” said Smith, R-Clinton. “I am grateful to the governor and his staff for their efforts to position Washington state as a leader in this arena. Our bipartisan work to establish this office will enable the state to adopt best practices on all matters involving data privacy and protection.”

Earlier this year, Gov. Inslee issued an executive order creating the Office of Privacy and Data Protection. Smith’s House Bill 2875 would move the governor’s executive order into statute and establish parameters for the office.

Under the bill, the office would develop and deploy best practices for state agencies to fully comply with state public records and open-government laws while protecting the personal information of Washingtonians.

The office would be tasked with: seeking ways to limit data collection, tracking the sale of private information to third parties, and monitoring citizen complaints regarding the collection and use of personal information. It would also be required to conduct an annual privacy review, hold annual privacy training, and educate consumers through public outreach across Washington state.

House Bill 2875 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.


Washington State House Republican Communications