New bills in Washington state would enforce internet privacy rules at the state level

Posted on Apr 11, 2017 by Caleb Chen
washington capitol

As a response to President Trump’s signing of internet privacy repeals, Washington State now has two pieces of legislation with bipartisan support – one in the House and one in the Senate – that would enforce internet privacy rules at the state level. The first is HB 2200, “AN ACT Relating to protecting the privacy and security of 2 internet users,” which would require ISPs to acquire written consent before selling information to third parties. Additionally, and very importantly, it would forbid the ISPs from price discriminating or refusing service to a person that doesn’t consent to having their internet history sold. A Senate internet privacy bill, SB 5919, also seeks to limit ISPs ability to sell data and discriminate against those that don’t want to.

Several states besides Washington seek internet privacy protections, others have missed their chance (for now)

The total number of states that have considered or are considering internet privacy rules in the form of state level legislation is rising almost daily. States where internet privacy may still live include Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Montana. Other states considering internet privacy at a state level are New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Kansas.

Further west, in Hawaii, the constituency laments that their state legislative session has ended too early for them to do anything about internet privacy from ISPs this year. The desire for privacy is still strong, through. Hawaiian Rep. Matt LoPresti commented:

“When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, they talked about privacy. You have a right to privacy. But the founders talked about paper, you have a right to your private papers. We don’t live with paper anymore we live with these electronic devices and so phones and tablets are your papers now.”

On the federal level, Congresswoman Rosen from Nevada has introduced the Restoring American Privacy Act of 2017 to potentially undo S.J. Res. 34.

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