[Miami, FL] Last week, Howard Simon of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU) sent a letter to Gov. Scott asking the governor to do something about the state’s selling of personal driver’s license information to private companies.
Florida collects up to $73 million annually from private data mining companies eager to get home address, age and gender information.
The ACLU of Florida, based in Miami, does acknowledge that the practice is legal under the Driver Privacy Protection Act.
Simon and the ACLU point out that he state is not required to sell this information, and is asking Scott to stop the distribution of information that many residents are unaware that their government is selling.
“All Floridians, including drivers, have an expectation of privacy,” said Simon in the letter. “Selling personal data without notice or permission violates that expectation. Florida drivers do not give their personal, identifying information to the state so it can be sold and re-sold to private companies.”
Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida Howard Simon
The ACLU points out that the personal info can then be legally re-sold to “third party purchasers” with no official oversight, opening up Florida drivers to possibly be a victim of identity theft.
“We believe has the ability to stop the practice immediately,” said Simon in the press release.
The ACLU is asking that the governor direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to end selling the data. In addition, they are looking for the state to not approve any further sales of said information and to institute safeguards ensuring the information that Florida has sold already, is being used in a legal manner.
“We believe, and a great many Floridians agree, that no financial incentive can reasonably justify the invasion of privacy that results from the state selling such personal information,” Simon says in the letter.
- Mark Christopher
Image: ACLU of Florida website