Washington Privacy laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Privacy: What you need to know

Constitution. Washington’s state constitution includes an express right to privacy: “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law” (Wash. Const. art. I, § 7).
Common law. Washington also recognizes all four common-law invasion-of-privacy claims:
• Intrusion upon solitude or seclusion;
• Public disclosure of private facts (e.g., unreasonable publicity given to one's private life);
• False-light privacy (e.g., publicity that normally places the other in a false light before the public); and
• Appropriation of one's name or likeness (Eastwood v. Cascade Broad. Co., 722 P.2d 1295 (Wash. 1986)).
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Biometric identifiers. An employer may not enroll a biometric identifier for a commercial purpose without notice, consent, or a mechanism to prevent its subsequent commercial use. However, notice and consent are not required to collect, capture, enroll, and store a biometric identifier for a security purpose (Wash. Rev. Code § 19.375.010 et seq.).
A “biometric identifier” is defined as data generated by automatic measurements of an individual's biological characteristics, such as a fingerprint, voiceprint, eye retinas, irises, or other unique biological patterns or characteristics that are used to identify a specific individual. It does not include recordings or information collected, used, or stored for healthcare treatment, payment, or operations under HIPAA.
Such identifiers also may not be sold, leased, or otherwise disclosed for a commercial purpose unless:
• Necessary to provide a product or service to the individual;
• Necessary for a financial transaction that the individual requested, initiated, or ...

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