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Paul Rolly: Surprise — your personal info is sitting in a bar


| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jan 23 2014 05:33 pm • Last Updated Jan 23 2014 10:57 pm

There is a little secret, unknown to most visitors here for the Sundance Film Festival, the Outdoor Industry Association convention and other festivities: Bars in Utah keep our personal information for five days.

State law requires bars to scan the driver licenses or other government-issued identification cards of anyone who looks younger than 35.

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Most visitors to bars and clubs willingly fork over their license for scrutiny when entering. But the bars are not required to tell patrons the information will be kept on file for five days — and most bars don’t tell them, according to sources close to the industry.

In an era of computer hacking and the recent revelation that the state sells voter-registration data, the idea of personal information that could be used for identity theft being kept on tap for nearly a week could be disconcerting.

Utah doesn’t require Social Security numbers to be listed on driver licenses. But some states do, and visitors from those locales get all that scanned and kept in the bar — to prevent underage drinking.

So, take measures to solve one problem, create another.

And they’re off » The much-anticipated GOP primary fight between Gov. Gary Herbert and House Speaker Becky Lockhart for the 2016 gubernatorial nomination is taking shape.

Herbert and Lockhart have not yet announced they will run, but actions speak louder than words.

A number of lobbyists complained earlier this month that they were put in an awkward position after receiving an invitation to a $750-per-person fundraising event designed to boost the speaker’s campaign cache — already at more than $200,000 — even though the Provo Republican has said she will not seek re-election to the House.

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Should the lobbyists skip the fundraiser and risk alienating the House speaker, whom they may need to help shepherd through their pet legislation, or do they attend Lockhart’s event and risk crossing the governor?

They got their answer this week.

Just hours after Lockhart’s show Tuesday, featuring bluegrass music and barbecue, all those weary partygoers aiming to please anyone who can help or hurt their causes got a fundraising invitation from Herbert.

They hadn’t even had time to digest their ribs.

The invitation was to the Governor’s Golf Classic on May 19 at Park City’s Promontory Club.

Cost: $2,500 per foursome.

Didn’t get the memo » Wednesday was the first day of the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show, which featured Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell as the keynote speaker.

It also was the day that a bipartisan group of Utah legislators announced a number of bills designed to clean up the state’s foul air. Several proposals target pollution caused by automobile emissions.

While all this was going on, five tour buses associated with the Outdoor Retailer show sat outside the Salt Palace Convention Center with their engines idling.

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