(Channel 3 Video) Sen. Kane: Why Are We Selling The Personal Information of People Who Register Vehicles in Connecticut?

January 28, 2014

Article and video as it appeared on WFSB.com

WFSB 3 Connecticut
Did you know the state sells your driving information and has been doing so for decades? Now the process is ready to be brought online and that’s raising concerns about identity theft.

“We’re literally selling the personal information of people who register their vehicles in Connecticut to private insurance companies,” said Sen. Robert Kane, R-CT.

Kane said he’s worried about what will happen when the state puts all of that information online. In the past, companies would have to request the information they need and would receive it in large data files.

“The DMV is looking to take this data and market it to the very companies that are already seeking the information,” Kane said. “Secondly, I don’t feel comfortable putting the data, the information out there of the drivers, the constituents and the taxpayers out there. Especially with all the security breaches in the private sectors like Target.”

It’s all part of a plan to overhaul the state’s websites which has been in the works as part of a jobs bill in 2011.

Certain companies already buy the information from the DMV, but the state said putting it all online makes the process easier.

But some drivers said they’re going to worry about their information online getting into the wrong hands.

Other drivers said they’re shocked because they didn’t even know the state sells the information in the first place.

The state plans to fund the new website by charging more for the companies to request the information. A spokesperson for the DMV said as far as security goes, nothing will change.

“Those contracts are thoroughly scrutinized by our legal people to ensure that they meet all the state standards for protecting privacy including the federal Driver’s Privacy Act that prohibits us from releasing any personal information that would jeopardize someone’s privacy,” spokesman Bill Seymour said. “In this new system, the same contracts and the processes are followed.”

Last year the state made more than $20 million by selling driver’s license information to companies.