Legislation pending in Washington’s statehouse that would greatly strengthen data privacy protections for the people of the Evergreen State is incredibly popular, with more than three-fourths of respondents supportive overall and seven in ten voters strongly supportive, NPI’s latest statewide poll has found.
Only 17% were opposed.
7% said they were not sure.
The proposed My Health, My Data Act, which is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate, would do the following, as summarized by nonpartisan staff:
- Establishes consumer rights of access, withdraw consent, and deletion regarding consumer health data.
- Requires regulated entities to obtain consent in order to collect, share, or sell consumer health data.
- Specifies regulated entity obligations regarding consumer health data privacy notice, access, and security requirements.
- Prohibits implementing a geofence around an entity that provides in-person health care services to collect or track data from consumers or to send advertisements related to consumer health data.
- Exempts government agencies, tribal nations, and personal information governed by certain federal or state laws.
- Makes violations enforceable under the Consumer Protection Act.
- Provides an effective date of March 31, 2024, for sections of the bill related to consumer health data rights, regulated entity and processor obligations, and valid authorization.
The My Health, My Data Act was introduced in the House as HB 1155 and in the Senate as SB 5351. Its prime sponsors are Representative Vandana Slatter (D‑48th District) and Senator Manka Dhingra (D‑45th District), a Northwest Progressive Foundation boardmember. The bill was requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson and is one of Ferguson’s 2023 legislative priorities.
One month ago, on March 4th, the House approved its version of the legislation, keeping it moving through the legislative process. The Senate’s Law & Justice Committee strengthened it with good amendments, gave it a “do pass” recommendation and it was pulled from Rules on March 24th.
The bill must receive a floor vote in the Senate by April 12th, the next cut-off. If that happens, it would then return to the House to receive further consideration.
In the history of our research polling, there have been only a few bills we’ve measured public support for that have been more popular than this. It is rare for us to find more than three-fourths of likely voters in agreement on anything.
My Health, My Data is an exceptional bill. It’s a policy that just makes sense to Washingtonians… so much sense that seven out of ten respondents jumped at the opportunity to say that they strongly supported the bill. Take a look:
- Support: 76%
- Strongly support: 70%
- Somewhat support: 6%
- Oppose: 17%
- Somewhat oppose: 6%
- Strongly oppose: 11%
- Not sure: 7%
Our survey of 874 likely 2024 Washington State voters was in the field from Tuesday, March 7th through Wednesday, March 8th, 2023.
The poll utilizes a blended methodology, with automated phone calls to landlines (50%) and online answers from cell phone only respondents (50%).
It was conducted by Public Policy Polling for the Northwest Progressive Institute, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.3% at the 95% confidence interval.
My Health, My Data is so popular that even most Donald Trump voters support it. Yes, you read that right: a majority of self-identified 2020 Trump voters like this bill. 51% of Trump voters are strongly supportive, while another 6% are somewhat supportive. (89% of Joe Biden voters are supportive — 84% strongly.)
60% of Republican voters support the bill, along with 70% of independent voters and 89% of Democratic voters. 25% of Republican voters are opposed, along with 24% of independent voters and 7% of Democratic voters.
All age groups, income brackets, and regions are supportive. In fact, we couldn’t find a single group in our crosstabs who were opposed to the bill.
That speaks to how incredibly, overwhelmingly popular it is.
Aside from banning foreign campaign donations and requiring fiscal impact disclosures in initiative ballot titles, our team hasn’t seen this level of support for any other proposed legislation we’ve asked Washington voters to weigh in on recently. My Health, My Data is a gem with massive public enthusiasm.
Getting this legislation to Governor Jay Inslee’s desk must be a priority in the final three weeks of this 2023 legislative session.
The Senate ought to pass the version of the bill proposed by the Law & Justice Committee and the House should accept the amendments so that we can get a strong new health data privacy law on our books as soon as possible.