Manweller instrumental in House passage of internet privacy bill

On Wednesday, the state House of Representatives passed a bill that would require broadband internet service providers (ISPs) to acquire opt-in consent from customers before selling or transferring their information. The legislation is in response to decisions recently made at the federal level, allowing internet and cable providers to sell personal data without the permission of consumers.

Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, introduced the striking amendment language of House Bill 2200 that passed by a vote of 87-10.

Manweller, one of the lead negotiators on the bill, said this is a step in the right direction, but concerns remain.

“Article 1, Section 7 of the state constitution gives us our right to privacy. Unfortunately, the more we advance into the digital age, the more people become increasingly uncomfortable and even nervous with the amount of personal data out there. We certainly don’t like ISP’s having the ability to track our internet use or have our online footprint,” said Manweller. “This legislation will provide our citizens some privacy and protections from ISP’s, but more work needs to be done with respect to companies such as Google and Facebook.”

The bill would require ISPs to obtain opt-in approval from customers before selling or transferring their data. It would also prohibit ISPs from denying service to customers who choose not to opt-in.

House Bill 2200 will now go to the Senate for consideration.

The 2017 regular legislative session is scheduled to adjourn Sunday, April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications