While there has not been any concrete movement on a federal data privacy law, there has been some progress on the state and local level.
Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle’s privacy bill, introduced back in mid-January, cleared the State Senate earlier this month and is under consideration in the House. The bill covers companies that control personal data of 100,000 or more Washington residents and also data brokers with information on at least 25,000 Washington state residents.
Some of the obligations imposed on these covered entities echo the CCPA and the GDPR. For instance, companies much specify how they use their personal information and for what purposes. They must also comply with consumer requests to delete personal data, so long as requisite conditions are met (e.g., if a company can no longer identify a business reason for keeping that information). Finally, companies have to perform risk assessments of their data processing activities and take stock of any potential harm for consumers’ personal data.
But, other obligations are unique: this bill expressly addresses facial recognition technology. In the bill’s current form, any company that uses facial recognition in a public space must give notice to visitors that the technology is in use. Moreover, companies that sell facial recognition software must make their software available for third-party testing to monitor bias. Finally, the bill expressly bars public agencies from tracking individuals using facial recognition without a warrant.
Last week, Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl A. Racine introduced an amendment to D.C.’s current data breach notification law. Racine’s bill expands the definition of personal information to include passport numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, military ID numbers, health information, biometric data, genetic information and DNA profiles and health insurance information. Further, data breach notices to consumers would now have to include (a) categories of information that were, or are believed to have been, involved in the breach; (b) contact information for both the person making the notification and for credit reporting agencies, the FTC and the D.C. Attorney General; and (c) the right under federal law to obtain a security freeze at no cost and how to obtain such a freeze. If the breach includes social security numbers, businesses must also offer two full years of free identity theft protection. Finally, in addition to the requirement to maintain “reasonable safeguards” to protect D.C. residents’ personal information, businesses would also have to contractually impose that obligation on any nonaffiliated third party with which businesses share that personal information.