Data privacy bills favor tech companies over people

Imagine not being allowed to lock the doors to your home and having to wait until someone has broken in and is going through your belongings before you can ask them to leave. That’s exactly what’s happening right now in Washington when it comes to data privacy. Big corporations are lobbying in Olympia for laws that give them free reign to continue to exploit our personal data.

Senate Bill 5062, the bad “Washington Privacy Act,” gives corporations the keys, not the people. According to Reuters, big tech companies successfully pushed for weak laws drafted by Amazon in Virginia. Washington deserves better!

Alongside SB 5062, lawmakers are considering House Bill 1850, which creates a data privacy commission for enforcement. The idea is promising, but needs public oversight, transparency and a ban on too much interference from industry to be effective.

Fortunately, legislators have another option. The People’s Privacy Act (House Bill 1433) was written to protect people, not corporations. Legislators should replace SB 5062’s loopholes, sneaky definitions and the many other clauses that give big tech free reign to control our data with the much stronger protections of the People’s Privacy Act. Anything less hands the keys to our privacy over to corporations.

Naomi A. Dietrich


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