Organizing & Mobilizing

Washington People’s Privacy emerged from its founders’ successful electoral work to pass a municipal ballot Initiative (Initiative 2 – a ban on face recognition and predictive policing software) in Bellingham WA, and intensive legislative advocacy work on Data Privacy, Automated Decisions Systems, and Digital ID bills in Washington’s 2022 Legislative session with statewide organizers. We then went on to advocate strongly on federal data privacy bills, and joined a group of advocates who successfully fought for the first health data privacy legislation in the nation to protect people’s rights to abortion and gender-affirming healthcare. Our purpose is to engage everyday people in effective and strategic self-advocacy, and to steadily build knowledge, awareness, people power and organizing capacity in and across communities in that process. That means clarifying and re-framing privacy as a people’s issue, a community’s issue, and not solely as a personal right or privilege that industry and info security experts often pursue. Pay-for-privacy doesn’t work. We need people’s privacy.

That means: we want to organize with you!
To reach us via email use our Get involved form!

Privacy and tech justice are truly community and systemic issues – interconnecting with many other rights, and intersecting with pretty much every other social justice and systemic equity issue that we face.

After decades of companies and government agencies exploiting people’s data without any accountability —  feeding our data into algorithmic systems that reinforce discrimination in policing, housing, finance, education, healthcare, immigration, employment, and other basic rights and liberties — the tide is turning in the favor of strong regulation. As research money dumps into AI, and Microsoft owns the largest share, having purchased Open AI… a lot of these issues are literally playing out right here in WA State.

We’ve helped Washington state stay on the cutting edge of the privacy fight with our work to defeat weak data privacy bills from passage, the stand we took for the rights of our most precarious community members as legislators considered what was essentially a digital ID bill, our input into federally preemptive bills, and our push to help pass a strong My Health My Data Act in 2023! We created educational material on Surveillance technologies used by Seattle Police Department (and potentially shared with other agencies and depts) and helped drive more public comments for consideration by the Seattle City Council on these technologies, and we’re still in these local fights, as well as national fights against bad internet bills, and beyond!

WA People’s Privacy continues to track state and national privacy legislation and bill language, and to lay organizing and networking groundwork for all of the tech justice organizing work that we know lies ahead.

The focus of our work ahead is to:

  • Better establish our basic infrastructure, and secure funding that can stabilize and support QTBIPOC-led community organizing in tech justice & data privacy spaces;
  • Work in coalition with communities, privacy, and tech justice organizing efforts and organizations – both state and national – continuing to grow a powerful network able to take on big tech;
  • Continue to advocate effectively for people’s data privacy and tech justice laws;
  • Provide resources and education for how community members can protect their and each other’s privacy;
  • Be open to, and offer, ways to get involved in tech justice, including training other individuals and groups to engage in people’s advocacy with legislative and municipal bodies;
  • Attend important convenings, conferences, and accept speaking engagements across movement (intersectional work); and
  • Hold meetings, listening sessions and community events to assess and meet people’s data privacy and tech justice needs.