BILL REQ. #:  S-4608.1 


State of Washington59th Legislature2006 Regular Session

By Senators Kohl-Welles, Fairley and Kline

Read first time 01/25/2006.   Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research & Development.

     AN ACT Relating to identification documents; adding a new section to chapter 19.192 RCW; creating a new section; and prescribing penalties.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that:
     (1) The right to privacy is a personal and fundamental right protected by Article 1, section 7 of the state Constitution. All individuals have a right of privacy in information pertaining to them.
     (2) Washington state recognizes the importance of protecting the confidentiality and privacy of an individual's personal information contained in identification documents such as driver's licenses.
     (3) Machine-readable features found on driver's licenses and other similar identification documents are intended to facilitate verification of identity, not to facilitate collection of personal information about individuals, nor to facilitate the creation of private data bases of transactional information associated with those individuals.
     (4) Easy access to the information found on driver's licenses and other similar identification documents facilitates the crime of identity theft, a crime that is a major concern in Washington.
     (5) Use of machine-readable features on identification documents for purposes other than verification of identity constitutes an unreasonable infringement of privacy and is an unfair business practice.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 19.192 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) For purposes of this section:
     (a) "Electronically" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
     (b) "Identification document" means any document issued by a governmental entity containing personal information that an individual uses alone or in conjunction with other information to establish his or her identity. Identification documents include, but are not limited to, the following:
     (i) Driver's licenses or identicards;
     (ii) Identification cards for governmental employees or contractors;
     (iii) Identification cards issued by public educational institutions;
     (iv) Benefit cards issued in conjunction with any government-supported aid program;
     (v) Licenses, certificates, registration, or other similar documents issued by the department of licensing or necessary to engage in a regulated business or profession; and
     (vi) Library cards issued by any public library.
     (c) "Personal information" includes any of the following: An individual's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, date of birth, race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, photograph, fingerprint or other biometric image of the individual, social security number, or any other unique personal identifier or number.
     (2) A nongovernmental entity may only electronically read an individual's identification document to verify the authenticity of the document or verify the individual's age or identity.
     (3) When a nongovernmental entity electronically reads an identification document for one of the purposes permitted in subsection (2) of this section, the entity may not store, sell, or share personal information collected from the identification document.
     (4) A business may only verify a consumer's age when providing an age-restricted good or service or for which there is a discount based on the consumer's age. A business may only verify the consumer's identity when the consumer pays with a method other than cash or returns an item. A business may not deny a consumer or prospective consumer a good or service when the consumer or prospective consumer exercises the right under this section not to allow his or her identification document to be read electronically for other purposes or exercises the right not to allow storage, sale, or sharing of personal information. Any waiver of a provision of this section is contrary to public policy and is void and unenforceable.
     (5) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, an individual whose personal information is read, stored, shared, sold, or otherwise used in violation of this section may bring an action to recover actual damages or one thousand dollars, whichever is greater, and equitable relief, if available. A court shall award a prevailing individual reasonable costs and attorneys' fees. If a court finds that a violation of this title was willful or knowing, the court may increase the amount of the award to no more than three times the amount otherwise available.

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