Serving Franklin County, WA

Bill restricts collection of health data

OLYMPIA — A bill restricting access to gender-affirming health care, abortion and other data is making its way through the Legislature.

House Bill 1155 would restrict smart phones and other digital devices, and health care provides from collecting and sharing information on abortion, sex and gender-related health care without the consent of a patient.

Rep.Vandana Slatter, D-Bellevue, sponsored the bill as a way to prevent states restricting access to abortion and gender-affirming care from accessing related health information without the consent of a patient.

Similarly, the measure would also restrict smart watches, smart phones, websites, health-tracking applications and other digital devices and products from collecting and sharing the information without the consent of the user.

“In Washington state, we expect our health care data to be protected, and that includes reproductive and gender-affirming care,” Slatter said. “That means combating predatory behaviors such as the sale of private reproductive health care data that leads to restrictions on health care in states like Texas. Protecting us from attacks on our most sensitive health data is long overdue.

“Websites and apps have the tools to protect our data. It’s time they did that.”

Those against the bill said the language in the bill does not protect data privacy, and it will limit technology already in place in the digital world.

The proposed law requires the consumer’s consent before sharing or collecting personal health data. It prohibits organizations from selling consumer health data not otherwise protected by law.

 

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