Rep. Stewart is working on a bill to protect privacy

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Technology has taken over our lives, and governments and businesses are using it to track our every move.

One Utah lawmaker says it’s a gross violation of privacy, and he wants to do something about it.

It seems no matter where we go our cell phones and other devices are right there with us.

They’ve made it so easy to stay in touch with friends and family and to order just about anything we want from the comfort of home.

They’ve also made it so easy for others to keep an eye and ear on us.

“There are times my phone is not even on, it’s a black screen, and I’ll say something and later something that I said is referenced in a news feed or social media feed,” said Jen Adams.

Like many Americans, the Adams family is conflicted. They want to stay engaged but can do without the added annoyances.

Their concerns go beyond companies spying on them.

“We already know that there’s active efforts, either by criminal networks or government to tap into our personal privacy, so I think it’s something that needs to be addressed,” said Brad Adams.

Representative Chris Stewart plans to do just that. He’s working a bill to address three key privacy points.

“I think people would be surprised, maybe shocked to know how much intelligence collection takes place from foreign governments, particularly China, which is spying. I think it’s wrong for the federal government to spy on American citizens, and we know that’s taking place. And lastly, I think that for our own companies; Facebook, Google, Amazon, others, that they have much more information than most Americans realize that they have,” said Stewart.

He wants to give consumers more control over how those companies are collecting data.

He knows he’s in for a fight.

“That’s how they monetize it. They make money out of knowing what you are talking about, they make money out of knowing where you are, where you are shopping,” said Stewart.

But, he says it’s worth it because that’s what the American people want. The Adams family backs that up.

“It’s a form of stalking, it’s cyberstalking. They may not come to my front door, but they are definitely in my home. I didn’t invite them in, they need to stay out,” said Jen.

This is a priority bill for Stewart. He hopes to have it drafted this spring and introduced before Congress goes on summer break.

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Glen Mills

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it's an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June, 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Chief Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Utah's only statewide political talk show, Inside Utah Politics Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Read More...

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