Action Alert: Government Spying on your Grocery List HB529


The government (Utah State Health Department) wants access to your grocery shopping history.


HB529 is making it’s way through the legislature with just a week left to go.


How could something so egregious even be proposed to allow the government to:

“obtain records related to a customer’s shopping history from food establishments.” ?

This bill is very carefully worded to acknowledge personal privacy and voluntary participation right next to the egregious behavior.

Despite this, we must remember that “voluntary” often comes in the form of fine print on your shopping card agreement, or some waiver you sign.  Most of our rights are actually lost by consent because we agree to things in the name of convenience as a matter of habit.

“Voluntary” in state code is a simple one-word legislative change away from “mandatory” at some future date.

Government access to private shopping histories should not be in code at all in any way. This does nothing to aid the proper role of government.

Even if it stayed voluntary forever, we must remember that the voice of the people in Utah is the state constitution and that constitution has never authorized any government programs to monitor our personal grocery shopping habits, even in the name of “safety”.


If it’s not in the Constitution, then the legislature has not been authorized to engage in such an activity.

Every legislator should be trained to ask the first question on every bill they write:

“Which part of the constitution authorizes this?

If they can’t do that as a first step, then they have no business writing law in a constitutional system.


Do your own research, download your own copy of the state constitution and search for the word “health”.  The only thing that is in there with the word “health” has to do with government employees working for eight hours per day max, and safety regulations on working conditions for certain dangerous industrial purposes (mining, smelters, etc.).  (While even that is a questionable power our constitution gave to the government, that’s an article for a different day).

The ability to protect the personal health of the general public is not listed anywhere in the state constitution, and definitely nothing that authorizes the violation of your privacy without a warrant on each individual.


Given the lack of a constitutional authorization to hold the personal grocery lists of Utah citizens, what authorizes them to start going down this road?

Defending Utah’s sources reported back that the sponsor, representative Scott Chew, said:

“The Health Department asked me to do it”.

Sounds very similar to “The Devil made me do it”.

The Health Department is part of the executive branch while the constitution is the voice of the people. The executive branch should not be suggesting legislation that is contrary to the voice of the people. And if they do, the legislative branch should be saying “no”. In fact, that’s exactly what it looks like when a legislator is doing their job and honoring their oath of office. We need to all start demanding that to be normal behavior of our lawmakers.


Since the publication of this article, we’ve also discovered this additional food related bill as a concern.

Adding the same regulation that big egg producers have to small egg producers. It sounds good to prevent rotten eggs from getting to consumers, but the free market already puts those kinds of people out of business. This just allows the government to come get in the business of your friendly neighborhood egg farmers. This is just more of the incremental attack on our ability to feed ourselves.

They’ve been fine without this forever, why suddenly start regulating small neighborhood egg producters? HB523


Info to contact your state representative:

Email suggestion (modify to your own liking).

Dear Representative [_______],

Please vote NO on HB529.

I am concerned that a serious lack of concern for privacy and maintaining the proper role of government has taken place. Can you identify what part of the constitution authorizes the government to collect private grocery lists of anybody at all?

I am painfully aware of the abuse of power in recent years by the executive branch (especially the health departments). Now is the time to bolster protections for personal privacy in the marketplace before the people have no faith left to give to the government.

Also please vote NO on HB523.

Adding the same regulation that big egg producers have to small egg producers might sound good at first to prevent rotten eggs from getting to consumers, but the free market already puts those kinds of people out of business. This just allows the government to come get in the business of your small, friendly neighborhood egg farmers. This is just more government overreach that threatens our ability to feed ourselves and invades our privacy.

Thank you for taking this seriously.


(Your Name)



4 Responses

  1. Thank you Enoch for bringing this to our attention. I have sent this link to all in my address book and encourage everyone to do the same. I even sent an email to the sponsor of this ridiculous bill.

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