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|December 14, 2019|
Calif. DMV made $51M last year selling drivers' personal data
NEW YORK - Most California drivers probably don't realize the Department of Motor Vehicles has diversified its revenue streams to include selling people's personal information. According to data obtained by Motherboard, Vice's tech news site, the DMV made $51,626,162 off selling driver's information to interested parties during the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Drivers' names, addresses and car registration information were among the pieces of personal data sold, reports Motherboard.
An earlier investigation by the site found DMV agencies around the country have been selling such information to data brokers, credit agencies and personal investigators. (The California DMV declined to state exactly who purchased drivers' personal information last year.)
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., expressed disappointment with the DMV's data selling.
"The DMV should not use its trove of personal information as a tool to make money. While the internet has been an enormous source for good, all that convenience and connection has come with a price: our privacy has been invaded in an unprecedented way, in a manner that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. Nobody—from agencies like the DMV to large corporations like Facebook and Google—should be profiting from sharing or selling personal information without meaningful consent," Sanders said on Facebook.
DMV spokesperson Marty Greenstein told Motherboard the agency's data selling practices are in compliance with current California law.
"The DMV takes its obligation to protect personal information very seriously. Information is only released pursuant to legislative direction, and the DMV continues to review its release practices to ensure information is only released to authorized persons/entities and only for authorized purposes. The DMV also audits requesters to ensure proper audit logs are maintained and that employees are trained in the protection of DMV information and anyone having access to this information sign a security document," Greenstein said.
The DMV has been under close scrutiny in recent years for its handling of the Real ID transition and a driver's license renewal glitch that affected 150,000 people, both of which have contributed to long wait times at DMV offices statewide. (Source: SFGate)
Story Date: December 9, 2019