This is the testimony I actually wound up giving at the hearing. It was better live because I made air quotes around the spin that lobbyists were saying :) You can see my longer written testimony here.
Madame Chair, Mr. Ranking Member, and members of the committee,
I’m Jon Pincus from Bellevue, a technologist and entrepreneur. I OPPOSE the Bad Washington Privacy Act in its current form. Others have already discussed the issues I covered in my written testimony. So instead ...
Lobbyists testifying CON tell you that even the very limited private right of action in the current version of the bill “with no chance for public input” will cause them a “burden”. Anything stronger will surely cause the sky to fall! Remember last year, when they talked about the “robust enforcement” of the Senate bill -- which lacked a per se clause, so even the AG couldn’t enforce it?
Of course industry prefers no liability when they break the law, and “robust enforcement” by 3.6 FTEs this year’s bill budgets. So take what they say with a grain of salt.
Instead, strengthen the private right of action and remove the right to cure. Or go further, and adopt the People’s Privacy Act as a striker. It has bipartisan sponsorship and broad support from dozens of civil rights, immigrant rights, and grassroots organizations -- input that the Senate has ignored over the last three years.
A privacy bill without enforcement or deterrence will not protect Washingtonians. So if you don’t strengthen it, please vote no, and don’t give the legislature’s endorsement to allowing predatory and exploitative behavior with no real consequences.