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An internet privacy bill awaits Gov. Cox’s signature. Some consumer advocates say he should veto it

Close up of a person holding a credit card near a laptop.
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“It's placing profits over the privacy protections that people in Utah would want,” said Irene Ly with Common Sense Media, a California nonprofit that advocates for kids' digital privacy.

National consumer advocates are asking Gov. Spencer Cox to veto an online privacy bill, saying it doesn’t go far enough.

SB 227, which passed the Legislature unanimously, allows people to opt out of having their data be used for targeted advertising or sold to third parties. It also allows people to get a copy of their data and have companies delete it.

“It's placing profits over the privacy protections that people in Utah would want,” said Irene Ly with Common Sense Media, a California nonprofit that advocates for kids' digital privacy. “It doesn't have any mechanisms within it to actually make it easy for you to exercise those rights, so that would mean a business doesn't have to make it any simpler to opt out, for example.”

Ly said sometimes it can be difficult to find out how to ask a company to delete your data. Additionally, requiring people to individually contact each website or app they use is too burdensome, she said.

Bill sponsor Sen. Kirk Cullimore, R-Sandy, said — based on his conversations with technology companies — a universal opt-out isn’t feasible yet.

“Maybe something like that becomes more of reality in the future, but it's something that would require significant investment in time of all businesses out there collecting data,” he said.

The governor’s office said Cox is still reviewing the bill.

Ly said while there are good protections in this legislation, signing it into law would make it harder to add in additional provisions down the line.

Sonja Hutson is a politics and government reporter at KUER.
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