Keypoint: With just two days to go before the close of the Washington legislature, a conference committee will try to resolve conflicts between the House and Senate versions of the WPA.

As we previously reported, on Friday, March 6, the Washington House passed an amended version of the Washington Privacy Act (WPA) that included a private right of action. The bill then moved back to the Senate where, on Monday, March 9, the Senate refused to concur in the amendments and asked the House to recede from them. Predictably, the House refused.

However, the House requested that the Senate agree to a conference committee, which request the Senate quickly granted. The House and Senate thereafter appointed three members each to participate in the conference committee.

The Senate appointed Senators Carlyle, Dhingra, and Rivers – all of whom sponsored the Senate version of the WPA and voted in its favor. Senator Carlyle has been the Senate bill’s lead advocate.

The House appointed Representatives Hudgins, Hansen, and Dufault. Representative Hudgins sits as chair of the House Committee on Innovation, Technology & Economic Development, which is the committee that amended the WPA to include a private right of action. Representatives Hudgins and Hansen voted in favor of the amended House version while Representative Dufault voted against it.

For the conference committee to be successful, it will need to find compromise positions on the two biggest differences between the House and Senate versions of the WPA – enforcement and facial recognition. It will need to find those compromise positions quickly as the legislative session closes Thursday, March 12.

If a compromise is reached, both chambers would have to adopt the conference committee report for the WPA to pass and head to the Governor. Interested readers should click here to stay up-to-date on all of the developments.

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Photo of David Stauss David Stauss

David is leader of Husch Blackwell’s national privacy and cybersecurity practice group. He routinely counsels clients on responding to data breaches, complying with privacy laws such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, and complying with information security statutes. He also…

David is leader of Husch Blackwell’s national privacy and cybersecurity practice group. He routinely counsels clients on responding to data breaches, complying with privacy laws such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, and complying with information security statutes. He also represents clients in data security-related litigation. David is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (US), Certified Information Privacy Technologist, and Fellow of Information Privacy.

Photo of Erik Dullea Erik Dullea

A member of Husch Blackwell’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team, Erik focuses on administrative/regulatory law, with an emphasis on heavily regulated industries and government contractors. He represents mine operators in MSHA enforcement actions, energy and industrial companies in OSHA enforcement actions, and advises…

A member of Husch Blackwell’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team, Erik focuses on administrative/regulatory law, with an emphasis on heavily regulated industries and government contractors. He represents mine operators in MSHA enforcement actions, energy and industrial companies in OSHA enforcement actions, and advises airlines and their pilots challenging FAA and DOT enforcement actions. Erik advises government contractors on transactional matters, bid protests and civil litigation. He holds an active security clearance and has 20 years of experience in the aviation industry as both a Navy pilot and a commercial pilot. Erik is a co-chair of Husch Blackwell’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice group.

Photo of Malia Rogers Malia Rogers

Clients of all sizes – from innovative startups to Fortune 500 corporations – value Malia’s counsel on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including incident response in times of emergency. She advises clients on privacy compliance planning, which encompasses cybersecurity measures…

Clients of all sizes – from innovative startups to Fortune 500 corporations – value Malia’s counsel on a broad range of privacy and cybersecurity issues, including incident response in times of emergency. She advises clients on privacy compliance planning, which encompasses cybersecurity measures as well as drafting breach response and action plans.