Health data privacy bill advances

Mar 9, 2023
Written by WR Communications

House Bill 1155, the health data privacy act, prime sponsored by Rep. Vandana Slatter (D-48-Bellevue), passed the House of Representatives last Saturday after 23 attempts to amend the legislation. Four amendments were adopted before it passed on a largely party-line vote of 57 to 39 with two excused. The measure was referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee for consideration.

Washington Retail has significant concerns about how retailers will comply with the bill and the legal liability it creates for them. As currently written, WR members are concerned the definition of “consumer health data” would include many consumer products and services beyond the legislation’s intended scope. For example, these could consist of vitamins, over-the-counter skincare or hair products, athletic or sports equipment, footwear, and apparel, perfumes and fragrances, electronics and entertainment equipment, and games, toys, groceries, cleaning and household supplies, recreational cannabis, pets, pet food, pet supplies, first aid supplies, cold remedies, and pain relievers to name a few.

WR supports consumers having access to and control of their personal data. However, as currently written, this bill will be difficult, if not impossible, for retailers to know what is covered and what is not – leaving them exposed to unwarranted lawsuits and legal actions.

WR appreciates proponents of the legislation meeting with us and considering clarifying edits that will make it easier for retailers to comply with the legislation while still allowing us to provide the high level of service consumers demand and have come to expect.


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