Florida Makes $63M Selling Drivers’ Info

Judge Says Info Selling Legal

Selling ID Scanner data to third parties has always been considered a bad idea because it violates Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act. Yet today there is a news article about the state of Florida’s program to sell drivers license information.

Story from http://www.local10.com/news/28600374/detail.html

The state of Florida made $63 million last year selling the personal information in the DMV database.  Apparently, they sold name, address, date of birth, and registered vehicle driven and selling that data does not violate Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act.  It seems that there is a federal mandate that entitles certain companies to this data.  Two prime examples are insurance companies and employers according to Ann Howard of the Florida DMV.  Companies like Lexus Nexus and Shadow Soft are purchasing this information and of course they will resell it to others.  They must agree to to provide this information to others who plan to solicit business which means it can’t be part of some sales effort.   A key point is no driver license number or social security number is included in the sold data.

The state also claims selling this information is a public safety issue. The state said selling the information is also a matter of public safety and used the example of a vehicle notification process would be more effective with the latest owner information.

The state charges $0.01 per record and there are 15.5 million records so each company is paying about $155,000 if purchasing all records.  So if they made $63 Million last year,  and assuming each company purchased all 15.5M  records, then about 406 companies purchased this data.   Apparently a lot of companies value this data.  Not a bad business.

It is interesting that certain government workers, specifically judges and law enforcement officers can request their personal information not be sold.  One might ask why regular citizens can’t make the same request.

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