Utah enacts data privacy legislation in the mold of California, Colorado, and Virginia, but with less onerous requirements for businesses, in what is expected to be a model for more states going forward.

By Jennifer Archie, Michael Rubin, Joseph Hansen, and Wesley Tiu

On March 24, 2022, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed the Utah Consumer Privacy Act (UCPA), making Utah the fourth US state to enact comprehensive data privacy legislation. The UCPA was introduced on February 17, 2022, and sped through the state legislature, receiving final passage on March 3, 2022.

The UCPA, which is set to take effect on December 31, 2023, builds off existing and forthcoming privacy legislation in California, Colorado, and Virginia, but lightens some of the compliance burdens on businesses. The UCPA does not impose any new privacy obligations on businesses that are not already required in California, and businesses will be familiar with the UCPA’s requirements — all of which have appeared in existing and forthcoming state data privacy laws. In a welcome change for businesses, however, the UCPA is narrower in certain respects as compared to its analogues in California (CCPA/CPRA), Colorado (CPA), and Virginia (VCDPA). (See, e.g., Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act: Second US State Passes Comprehensive Data Privacy Legislation.)

The UCPA represents the latest in a string of state privacy laws that seek to fill a nationwide gap while Congress continues to debate the merits of a federal data privacy law. The UCPA marks a slightly different variation, as it appears to have been more directly informed by industry groups such as TechNet and the State Privacy Security Coalition. These industry groups are working toward a uniform set of privacy laws in the United States, and Utah could set an example for additional states.

This blog post discusses some of the UCPA’s key provisions.