People's Privacy Act: Letter to the Editor Toolkit

Monday, February 1, 2021
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People’s Privacy Act (HB 1433) – Letter to the Editor Toolkit

Write a letter to support meaningful data privacy protections that put people first!

Lawmakers need to hear from you to encourage them to take a stand for data privacy laws that truly empower people. Take action by writing a letter to the editor (LTE) and submitting it for publication in your local paper. Make your letter more likely to be published by:
  • Referencing a recent (within the past week) news article or Op-Ed (guest column), editorial, or other letter to the editor, in your own letter. Sometimes publications will publish a letter without a news reference as long as it’s timely and relevant to public issues in the news. Here is a recent op-ed about the People’s Privacy Act that you can use as a reference.
  • Limiting your letter to around 100 words. Include your name, address, and phone number if submitting via email.
  • Being sure to submit to your LOCAL outlet. There are more than 90 blogs and news sites that publish LTEs in WA - here’s a list of WA LTE submission links.
  • Explain your connection to the issue/why you care/share a fact or personal story/experience/what you know to be true (As a parent, a teacher, a former tech worker, what I know is…)
  • Spell out what you want readers to do: Pass the People’s Privacy Act and reject any other bills that put corporations in control of people’s privacy.
It is important to include messages about why privacy matters and why people should be able to control the collection and use of their own personal data. It’s urgent that we pass the People’s Privacy Act and reject corporate control of our privacy because:
  • Currently, our personal information is being collected, used and sold without our consent or knowledge.
  • This secret collection of our personal information chills free speech and the freedom of assembly, undermines the free press, and threatens the freedom of religion.
  • Misuse of our data and violations of our privacy can affect us in numerous ways. Here is a series of stories of how corporate and government misuse of data has had negative impacts on the lives of ordinary people.
  • Allowing corporations to control the collection and use of our personal data puts vulnerable communities at a greater risk for discrimination, including unfair pricing for products and discrimination in employment, health care, housing, and access to credit.
  • Corporate control of personal data has also led to greater surveillance, particularly of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.
  • The Legislature should pass the People’s Privacy Act, which puts people in control of their data and offers an effective framework for ensuring that people can protect their privacy and still have access to the goods and services they seek.
  • The Legislature should reject any attempts that do not give people the power to enforce their privacy rights.
  • Put people’s privacy first and support racial equity and civil rights and liberties: Pass the People’s Privacy Act

Examples of People’s Privacy Act LTEs. (Please personalize and add your own stories)

As someone who believes in personal freedom, I support the People’s Privacy Act (HB 1433). It puts me in control of my data and doesn’t allow companies to collect my information and sell it to companies, organizations, or the government without my opt-in consent. As we become increasingly digital, people like me who believe in privacy and personal freedom often must make a choice between accessing the goods and services we need or protecting our rights. We shouldn’t have to. The Legislature should pass the People’s Privacy Act and reject any weak alternatives that do not give people the power to hold companies accountable.
As someone who works in technology, I know the power of data. Even without our names, information about our purchases, location, and friends creates a complete picture of our lives. Right now, that picture is being collected, used, and sold without our knowledge or permission. I’m concerned about putting our privacy in the hands of corporations. The legislature should reject any bills that do not empower people to hold companies and the government accountable and instead should pass the People’s Privacy Act (HB 1433). People create the story of their lives through data. We should control that story.
As a mother, I’m concerned about what happens to my children online. I pay attention to what they do and what information they give out, but it’s getting harder with online schooling and the pandemic. We need online services for everything, and we’re giving companies our information and putting them in control of it. I’m afraid of what that means for the privacy and safety of my kids. The legislature should pass the People’s Privacy Act (HB 1433) to put people in control. We shouldn’t have to put our children’s privacy at risk to access the online services we need.
Companies shouldn’t have more rights to control our personal information online than we do. But that’s exactly what a proposal in the Washington legislature would do. The Washington Privacy Act puts companies in control and leaves individuals with no recourse in the courts when privacy violations occur. Instead, the legislature should support enforceable, community-supported privacy protections that put people first. The People’s Privacy Act (HB 1433) requires companies to get opt-in consent to collect, use and sell our data. Washington is a leader in technology and should also be a leader in privacy. Our legislature should pass the People’s Privacy Act.
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