OLYMPIA – The Washington Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee today unanimously recommended passage of the Washington Privacy Act, one of the nation’s strongest privacy protection measures based on global standards to strengthen consumer access and control over personal data held by companies and the government.

The comprehensive act, Senate Bill 5376, reflects central elements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and gives Washington residents meaningful tools to determine how their personal data is used and shared. It also sets out steps companies must take to prevent practices that might compromise the security of personal information and limits how companies and law enforcement can use facial recognition technology to ensure it is not irresponsibly deployed.

“We’re extremely proud that it was a unanimous vote, Democrats and Republicans coming together to recognize that consumer privacy is essential and that data belongs to individuals,” said Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle), the bill’s sponsor and the chair of the committee.

“As the home of Microsoft, Amazon and other leading technology companies, we think about the deployment of technology in a global sense,” Carlyle said. “The GDPR is the emerging global standard on consumer data privacy protection and this act combines elements of that with best practices and lessons learned from around the United States and around the world. We’ve had the support of some of the most important companies and citizen activists in the country, and we think that this act can become a national standard for other states to consider.”