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Washington State Data Breach Laws: Notification Requirements

Washington's data breach laws apply to any person conducting business in the state of Washington who owns or licenses protected information (PI). Businesses must notify customers about a breach involving their personal data. Notification is required unless data was encrypted and / or the company determines that there is no risk of criminal activity to consumers.

Name of Law / Statute


Definition of Protected Information

Combination of (1) name or other identifying info, PLUS (2) one or more of these "data" elements: SSN; driver's license number; or account number, credit card number, debit card number if accompanied by PIN, password, or access codes.

Who Is Subject to Law?

Any person or business conducting business in the state who licenses or owns PI

Notification of Consumers?

Yes, unless determination of no "risk of criminal activity" to consumers (i.e., "technical breach")

By what means?

Written or electronic

Substitute Notice Threshold?

If cost of notice >$250,000 or involves >500k residents

Notification of authorities / regulators required?


By what means?


Regulatory Fines


Credit monitoring requirement?


Private lawsuits allowed?


Private damages cap?


Regulatory actions allowed?


HIPAA Compliance exemption?


Other  (e.g., timeframe)

Law does not apply if PI was encrypted

Link to complete law

Washington state's data breach law

Read the full text of Washington state’s data breach law.

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