Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

1. Consumer Protection Act

The Consumer Protection Act declares that unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are unlawful. Its broad reach and purpose are to promote a fair, competitive and nondeceptive marketplace for the benefit of buyers and sellers alike here in Washington. The Legislature has also enacted over 100 commercial statutes covering dozens of specific areas of the marketplace. Violations of these specific laws per se violations of the Consumer Protection Act.  The Attorney General and private consumers can bring actions to enforce per se violations of the Consumer Protection Act.  Private plaintiffs must prove that the unfair or deceptive practice caused them to suffer economic injury.    (19.86 RCW)

2.Disposal of Customer Information

Washington state requires businesses to “take all reasonable steps to destroy, or arrange for the destruction of, personal financial and health information and personal identification numbers issued by government entities.” If information is not disposed of in accordance with the law; businesses may be subject to civil liability if an individual is harmed by their failure. (RCW 19.215 )

3.  Notice of Security Breach

Under certain conditions, Washington law requires an individual, business, or agency to notify consumers if they are impacted by a data security breach.  (RCW 19.255)

4. Sarbanes-Oxley Act

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (PDF mandates  a number of reforms to enhance corporate responsibility, enhance financial disclosures and combat corporate and accounting fraud, and created the "Public Company Accounting Oversight Board," also known as the PCAOB, to oversee the activities of the auditing profession.


The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, promotes accuracy in consumer reports and is meant to ensure the privacy of the information in them. The FCRA was amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. The FACTA requires the Commission and other agencies to implement many of the new provisions of the FCRA by means of various rules and regulations.

6.  Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management for Legal Technology Use:  Information for Manufacturers and their Customers

In July 2011, an unfair competition law, became effective in Washington, making  it unlawful for a manufacturer, located anywhere in the world, to offer products for sale in Washington if it uses stolen or misappropriated information technology in its business operations and its products are sold in competition with products made without violating this law.  The law also places limited liability under certain circumstances on companies that contract with these manufacturers to make the products, except where certain conditions apply or where certain supply chain practices have been implemented regarding the use of information technology.

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