Utah Adds More Privacy to Family Information Submitted to Online Genealogy and DNA Web Sites

Utah is now a safe haven for digital privacy and a model for the rest of the country to emulate. In March, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law a first of its kind privacy bill, HB 57, which prevents law enforcement officials from obtaining user data from third-party providers such as genealogy sites, Google, or Facebook just by asking.

The new law says anyone who sends personal electronic information through a remote computing service — like the “cloud” — has a reasonable expectation of privacy. In order to access that data, the government must obtain a warrant.

It is important to remember that the new law doesn’t prevent law enforcement from accessing this information. But it does mean that before police go poking around in people’s private data, they need a warrant, just as they would to enter your home and rifle through your drawers and filing cabinets.

Right now, that’s not the case on the federal level or in the 49 other states where law enforcement can easily access your personal information through third-parties with little accountability.

You can learn more in an article by Heather Williamson in the Washington Examiner web site at: https://tinyurl.com/eogn190919.

One Comment

Since Ancestry.com is based in Lehi, Utah does that mean a warrant will be needed for any search of Ancestry.com records or DNA regardless of the abode of the user or law enforcement?

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