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Sen. Nelson Calls For Investigation Into Sale Of Driving Records

Nov 21, 2016

Florida Senator Bill Nelson wants the Department of Justice to investigate the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for selling peoples' private information.

According to an investigation led by Fox 13 News, Florida has sold information from more than 15 million drivers.

In his letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Nelson wrote that these sales are putting people at risk.

“In this new era, when identity thieves are causing real damage to millions of hardworking families, the fact that the state is making a profit by selling Floridians’ personal information on the open market is simply unconscionable,” he wrote. “I ask that your agency investigate whether the State of Florida is fully adhering to the intent of the law, as any deviation could be severely harmful to the millions of people who trusted the state to keep their information safe.”

He also said that the department violates the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994. It was created to protect resident’s personal information after a stalker found and killed Rebecca Schaeffer, a 21-year-old actress, by using her California Department of Motor Vehicle driver registration records.

“When people lose their personal identification information and it gets out there in the public domain by these people who want to do bad things, they can in fact do bad things,” Nelson said in a press conference Friday.

While the law does allow states to sell a driver’s information for some limited purposes, including statistical analysis, it forbids the sale of this information for marketing purposes without an individual’s express consent.