If you think Facebook is scary, get this: one state-level government agency has been selling citizens’ personal data from right under their noses. | Source: AFP
While many people remain at least partially wary of Facebook and other Big Tech giants leaking their data or sharing it with other companies, one government agency has been selling citizens’ personal data from right under their noses.
The Department of Motor Vehicles in some U.S. states has allegedly been raking in tens of millions of dollars by selling drivers’ personal data to the highest bidder, according to a new report from Motherboard — which managed to get ahold of a plethora of DMV documentation via public records requests.
While eight figures might sound like a lot, WXYZ Detroit staff in Lakeland, Fla. corroborates the information by having reported that the southern state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) vacuumed in $77 million in 2017, alone, from the sale of personal information.
The state-level government agency tasked with doling out driver’s licenses and infamous for its long waiting times has reportedly sold personal information to a large number of businesses — including private investigators who advertise themselves as spies.
In fact, PIs appear to be one of the most popular (and most problematic) clients — paying as little as one cent per record to gain personal information on individuals they’ve been hired to scope out.
Problems With the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act
Private investigators are able to obtain information from the DMV thanks to a 1994 law called The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act,