Washington governor retracts order that restaurants keep log of customers. Here’s what he’s doing now.

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After facing a barrage of backlash, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has backed down from a demand that customers who dine at reopening restaurants allow employees of the establishment to collect their private information for government use.

“I am no longer requiring customers to provide a business with contact information, and businesses should not condition service on a customer’s unwillingness to do so,” he said in a memo published Friday.

He added, “Businesses are still obligated to maintain a customer log of those who voluntarily provide their information.”

It’s not clear what type of sane customer would voluntarily ask employees at a restaurant to jot down their private information.

Nevertheless, Inslee continued, businesses are encouraged to offer voluntary logging to customers so they may be contacted in the future “if they have been exposed to COVID-19.”

“The information will only be shared with public health officials if you are exposed. Public health officials will contact you to explain the risk, answer your questions and provide resources. This information will not be used for any other purpose, including sales or marketing. If this list is not used within 30 days, we will destroy it,” he added.

He even provided a grammatically incorrect template that businesses may use:

The “Voluntarily” in the headline should read “Voluntary” …

The memo did little to ease tension in the far-left state, which, much like every other Democrat-led state, has been beset by lockdown protests for the past few weeks.

Over on Twitter, Inslee’s tweet announcing his back-down boasted a 210 percent ratio as of Sunday afternoon. See some of the stinging replies below:

The current backlash isn’t as scathing as the original backlash that erupted after Inslee’s office dropped a “guidance” last Monday that called for restaurants to begin mandatorily collecting data from their customers.

“If the establishment offers table service, create a daily log of all customers and maintain that daily log for 30 days, including telephone/email contact information, and time in. This will facilitate any contact tracing that might need to occur,” it read.

It didn’t help when the governor went on to defend the guidance during a press briefing the next day.

“If you have somebody who becomes sick and they were sitting right next to a person at a restaurant, to be able to identify that person could be very valuable for their health to try to save their life,” he said.

“We want to be able to open restaurants. People are anxious for that and we want to do some common-sense things so that if someone does have an infection at a restaurant, we will be able to save other patrons’ lives. We ought to be able to do both.”

The public clearly disagreed. Why? Because of concerns about privacy violations and government overreach, as noted in a column by Seattle radio station KTTH host and conservative commentator Jason Rantz.

“I will not give any restaurant, nor Governor Jay Inslee, my personal contact information just to dine inside, despite his coronavirus mandate,” he wrote.

“This mandate by Inslee is not safe. It’s government overreach. And I don’t trust this administration. It’s really that simple. There are serious and legitimate privacy concerns with Inslee’s over-the-top coronavirus restaurant mandate.”

The public agreed (*Language warning):


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