Data Privacy

This topic involves the collection and use of a variety of personal identifiers, and efforts to regulate such transactions. Such identifiers can include name, residency, health data, user names, IP addresses, sexual orientation, and political opinions. Consumers often willingly share this information when they shop but also in their use of social media, websites and email.

As digital technology has advanced, it has significantly changed how consumers and retailers interact. Retailers guard such information closely and take great pains to ensure its continued privacy. Retail companies use this information to customize services to better match the needs and desires of individual customers.

In the 2019 Legislative session in Olympia, WR reviewed several versions of poorly-written bills that would have threatened the trust consumers put in the retailers with whom they share personal information. The bills introduced so far in Olympia would have hindered the efforts of retailers to protect personal information and provide their customers with quality customer service.

WR will be introducing and support a bill in 2020 that will protect sensitive personal information and ensure continued quality customer service. Consumers deserve and expect that their personal information will only be used where they wish and nowhere else. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, Senior VP of Policy & Government Affairs, at mjohnson@washingtonretail.org.