My Health My Data protects Washingtonians’ most sensitive health data — including data on reproductive and gender-affirming care
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that more than three-quarters of Washingtonians in a statewide poll indicated they support the personal health data protections in the My Health My Data Act. Ferguson is partnering with Rep. Vandana Slatter, D-Bellevue and Sen. Manka Dhingra, D-Redmond, to propose the legislation, which passed the House on March 4, in a 57-39 vote. The bill still needs to pass the state Senate before reaching the Governor.
The poll, commissioned by the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI), showed 76% of the 874 polled Washingtonians responded in support of stronger data privacy protections for their health data. Seventeen percent of Washingtonians polled opposed the idea and 7% responded that they were “not sure.” NPI noted the responses in support of data privacy protections span the ideological spectrum and geographic regions of the state.
“Washingtonians want legal protections and controls over the privacy of their health data,” Ferguson said. “That is especially true when it comes to data relating to reproductive health care. I trust the Legislature will listen to the will of the people and adopt these critical protections.”
“In Washington State, we expect our healthcare data to be protected and that includes reproductive health and gender-affirming care,” Rep. Slatter said. “That means combatting predatory behaviors such as the sale of private reproductive healthcare data that leads to restrictions on healthcare in states like Texas. Protecting us from attacks on our most sensitive health data is long overdue. Websites and apps have the tools to protect our data. It’s time they did that.”
“People have a right to know what happens to their sensitive consumer health data,” Sen. Dhingra said. “This bill provides transparency and protections to prevent companies from collecting, sharing and selling consumer health care data without consent. The My Health My Data Act would establish a national model for protecting the right to privacy that all of us expect and deserve.”
The bill passed out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee on March 22 and awaits a full senate vote.
The new law will:
- Block entities from collecting and sharing Washingtonians’ health data without their consent;
- Protect Washingtonians’ sensitive health data from being sold to third parties without their consent;
- Guarantee Washingtonians the right to withdraw consent and request their data be deleted; and
- Restrict geo-fencing around health care facilities.
Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.email@example.com
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