OLYMPIA — Despite opposition this week from the telecommunications lobby, state lawmakers passed out of committee a bill intended to protect customers’ internet privacy, such as web browser history.
In a strong showing of bipartisanship, lawmakers Friday approved a version of HB 2200 in the House Technology and Economic Development Committee
HB 2200, sponsored by Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, passed by a vote of 15-2.
One lawmaker who voted against it, Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, even said he opposed it because it didn’t go far enough to secure internet privacy.
Lawmakers introduced the bill this month after President Donald Trump signed a measure eliminating internet-privacy protections that were scheduled to take effect. That move rolled back protections made by the Federal Communications Commission to make it more difficult for companies to keep tabs on and sell customer data, such as web browser histories and app usage.
Friday’s vote came after telecommunications lobbyists in a public hearing Wednesday tried to persuade lawmakers not to add any privacy provisions.
House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, said Thursday that HB 2200 will get a vote on the House floor before the end of the regular legislative session April 23.
HB 2200 and a similar bill in the Senate, SB 5919, both have a long, bipartisan list of co-sponsors. But the bill may still face steep odds in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said this week that lawmakers in that chamber aren’t likely to move quickly on a proposal.