WA People’s Privacy – 2022 in Review!

It’s been a full and busy year!πŸ’–
Read our herstory!

A post about some of our work and wins this year, ordered from most recent all the way back to January!
We’re proud of all of this people’s organizing, mobilizing and advocacy work, and hope after reading it, you are too!
πŸ’–Solidarity!Want to help us get this website cleaned up and looking a lot cuter? We rely on community support to keep this work going.
We’d be so honored and grateful if you’d Support our fundraiser!

In progress over the next week or so:

  • Meetings/correspondence with lawmakers regarding Federal and State Data Privacy bills.
  • Other fun mystery things in the works we can’t talk about yet! πŸ™‚


  • Building and amplifying via social media and organizing networks;
  • Regular meetings with privacy organizers & the Tech Equity Coalition;
  • Supporting anti-surveillance & privacy advocacy with local, state, and national campaigns we’re in coalition and/or solidarity with;
  • Seeding national collaborations toward strong policy & local and state laws.

Dec 7 -16
Drafted and circulated a letter (for sign-ons) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her not to bring the American Data Privacy and Protection Act to the House Floor for Vote unless it was first strengthened.

Dec 6
Attended Whatcom County Council meeting to deliver public comment in support of a local initiative on the ballot; but discovered several concerning policing items on the consent agenda (long list of budget items the council planned to pass in bulk). Waited through 2 hours of other business to ask that these two budget items be removed, discussed and voted upon separately. One was a $300K tech/equipment purchase, and the other was an inter-local agreement, accepting federal funding and placing five federal agents in the Whatcom Sherrif’s office, with explicit permission to work in coordination with local officers, and use undercover and other methods.

Dec 2
Joined in on the #spotifyissurviellance media discussion about Spotify Wrapped. Discovered and shared an error in their algorithm which, had their “wrapped” algo been used to drive payments to top listed artists, would have actually credited a male guest artist for a female artists song (and album). Shocking! But, a nice, simple example of an automated decision system (ADS) gone wrong!

Nov. 30
Met with Facebook & Make Our DMs Safe Coalition to advocate for making all direct message platforms encrypted by default. Great meeting!

We sent a letter to Rep. Jayapal and the Progressive Caucus asking them to sponsor & pass the Fourth Amendment is Not for Sale Act, with 22 additional groups signed on. Read the letter here: Β FANFSA SignOn Letter_WA Peoples Privacy

Nov. 28 – ongoing
Joined more than 90 Human Rights Groups in signing onto a letter to Congress to oppose #KOSA or the Kids Online Safety Act. As well as subsequent media actions, including socials posts.

Nov 26
Recorded podcast episode with Community to Community, on their podcast “Community Voz” about data privacy work, and inviting folks to act and write or call their congress members about the Fourth Amendment Not for Sale Act.

Nov. 20-21
Last push!: mobilization effort to get people to offer written public comments to the FTC for their Historic Federal Rulemaking Process on Commercial Surveillance and Data Security.

Mobilized Public Comments to Seattle City Council on the 2023 Budget to StopShotspotter.

Nov. 10
Signed on to Open Letter via the Open Internet Society calling on UK Prime Minister not to weaken encryption, and maintain people’s privacy.

Nov. 7
Stream Hosted Webinar on ShotSpotter in collaboration with Seattle Solidarity Budget, the StopShotspotter Coalition, and speakers from Seattle, Portland and Chicago.

Joined up with coalition, strategized, planned, and amplified “Stop ShotSpotter in Seattle” campaign on social media and with coalition and mobilizing partners.

October 14
Joined Starbucks workers on the picket line.

Late Oct.
Agreed to join group of folks reviewing early draft of Health Data privacy bill in the WA Legislature.

Oct. 21
Participated in Global Encryption Day and amplified the national call to “Make our DM’s Safe!” This was a WIN! The action made waves and FFTF and coalition organizations are in talks with social media platforms toward encryption as the default privacy setting for all DMs!

Oct. 11
Offered public comment in Seattle City Council’s Budget Meeting voicing opposition to the Mayor’s proposed purchase of ShotSpotter – a neighborhood surveillance system employed in poor, black and brown neighborhoods, and in support of a budget that centers care and meeting human needs.

Oct 8
Tabled with actions and information at rally to protect reproductive rights, freedom, and privacy.

Sept. 20
Offered public comments in support of a city-funded Immigrant Resource Center in Bellingham, WA’s Immigration Advisory Board meeting.

Sept. 18
Joined Fight for the Future in mobilizing sign-ons to an open letter to all messaging platforms to “Make DMs Safe!” Calling on companies to encrypt all messages, as the default setting. Signed on as an organization.

Sept. 14
Co-presented a teach-in webinar “An Alphabet Soup of Privacy Legislation” with WA Privacy Organizers, hosted by EF Georgia, all about federal data privacy bills we’re watching, and their implications for states.

Sept. 9-10
Participated in WA State Poor People’s Campaign Leadership Retreat to strategize on GOTV efforts and future work in WA.

Sept. 8
Delivered live public comment in FTC’s Historic Rulemaking Public Forum on Commercial Surveillance and Data Security.

September 1-8
Prepped for FTC Public Forum, boosted awareness-raising info and content on data privacy and surveillance.

August 15
WA People’s Privacy founder joined with four other members, amicably resigning from their Steering Committee roles in Community First Whatcom (CFW) – a greatly altered and reformulated 501c4 formerly known as People First Bellingham (PFB), which had been a cozy, sweet, and amorphous collective that got a lot done – to focus on data privacy, tech justice, and anti-surveillance organizing.
The five resigning members asked CFW to proactively and reflexively address race and equity concerns within its leadership structure and its bylaws.

August 13
Joined Starbucks workers on the picket line, shared information on organizing and data privacy.

August 7
Joined in local art installation of thousands of butterflies in Bellingham’s City Hall in suport of an Immigrant Resource Center, followed up with letter to the Mayor and City Council.

July 28
Offered public comment in historic California Privacy Protection Agency Board meeting about the American Data Privacy Protection Act and the issue of state preemption. (Our comment begins at approx. the 1:20 mark.)

Met with Federal lawmakers staffers regarding privacy post-Roe. Read bills, contributed perspectives to the bill markup process.

July 19
Signed on to Free Press’ letter to House Judiciary Committee calling for members to defend online privacy.

June 18
Traveled to DC with the Poor People’s Campaign (we are mobilizing partners of the WA State Poor People’s Campaign).

May 29
Held an info webinar and created actions to drive public comments on final group of six (out of 20+ total) surveillance technologies (4b) to be reviewed by Seattle City Council pursuant to review by the Community Working Group under the Seattle Surveillance Ordinance. That was a win! πŸŽ‰We drove significant public comment.

May 19
Traveled to Los Angeles to speak at the Poor People’s Campaign’s National mobilization tour, addressing the need for tech justice and data privacy.

May – all month
Drove additional awareness campaigns and early advocacy on privacy with the threat of Roe’s overturn, spoke about data privacy at abortion healthcare rally.

April 11-15
Participated in the national Ballot Initiative Strategy Conference as a representative of both WA People’s Privacy and People First Bellingham.
March – Jan (2022 WA Legislative Session)
  • Deep organizing, advocacy, mobilizing for strong data privacy laws in WA State.
  • Helped prevent bad/weak laws from passingπŸŽ‰, including a digital ID bill.
  • Founded WA People’s Privacy.

While this bulleted list above may look small, each item represents MOUNTAINS of work, and translated to basically around-the-clock learning and work for three months, ultimately resulting in VICTORY!

January 2022
Joined ACLU WA-convened Tech Equity Coalition, and a loosely formed but extremely dedicated group of WA privacy organizers/advocates.

2021 (Context for WA People’s Privacy Founding)
In 2021, Maya (WA People’s Privacy founder) poured huge amounts of work and time into the successful passage of people’s municipal ballot initiative 2, a ban on the purchase and use of predictive policing and face recognition software in Bellingham WA, as part of the People First Bellingham campaign, which brought a slate of four people’s initiatives to voters. Maya drafted the voter pamphlet argument and rebuttals for Initiative 2 (p.112), took part in this League of Women Voters Forum to defend Initiative 2, and wrote the victory statement announcing the campaign’s success. Initiatives 2 & 3 were historic wins for the people! πŸŽ‰
That League of Women Voters Forum is embedded below! Defense of Initiative 2, which Maya invited Jen Lee, Tech & Liberty Manager of ACLU WA to support her in defending, begins at about the 27:40 time mark (second section).