Utah Makes Privacy Moves by Signing HB57 Bill to Halt All Warrantless Electronic Data Searches
Utah has made a huge step towards improving the digital data security of its residents. The local lawmakers have finally approved warrantless searches of electronic data in the state. This puts Utah in the top of the states that value digital privacy the most.
This was understood by the crypto community as a historic act since data privacy is in discussion now and companies and the government are constantly breaching the privacy of the people, so everybody is currently afraid to know whether their information is really safe.
With the HB 57 (Data Privacy ACT), Utah is now the first U. S. state to pass any law of this nature. The law will be applied to social media companies like Facebook, search engines like Google and even email providers.
As a part of the act, the definition of “remote computing services”, as well as “electronic communication services” will be changed and this information will be protected by the Fourth Amendment.
This new act will make the local government accountable for the actions, too, and agencies will have to notify owners if their data was searched for any legal reason. Another important aspect of the law is that it will forbidden data from searches to be used as court evidence in some cases.
Obviously, exceptions will exist, too. Some people criticize the law for not enabling the authorities to use the digital information they find in court cases, but there are exceptions which were created in order to prevent crimes.
For instance, if there is an imminent risk of death or physical harm, the information will be used by the authorities and someone can be convicted using it. Other crimes like kidnapping and human trafficking will also be defined as crimes in which the exceptions to data protection can be made.
Before being approved by the government of Utah, the act had five versions. The latest one was approved without a single vote against, though, which shows how much support this bill had.
The American Civil Liberties Union has also backed this law together with the Libertas Institute, which can be considered the two organizations that worked the most to help the law to pass. Now, the HB 57 Act will take effect during the middle of next month.