The Texas Legislature did a very good thing. No, that’s not a misprint. Those words haven’t been uttered lately, but in one area — your personal privacy — they deserve a hip, hip and a hooray.
Protected records include name, address, photo, phone number, date of birth, email address and driver’s license number. For vehicles you drive, there’s VIN, registration, title information, your driving record, how much you paid for the car and to whom, accidents, and make, model and color of your car.
The data sales, averaging about $90 million a year when you include all other state agencies, were a longstanding widespread practice within state government, records show.
“Today, there are more than one thousand entities with whom these records are shared by the Department of Public Safety or Department of Motor Vehicles,” one legislative memo states.
“Because the agencies cannot control how that information is then passed on, the information can end up in the hands of bad actors. This can lead to fraudulent behavior, such as calls about a person’s vehicle warranty.”
I mean, don’t we know it?
The new law also requires state agencies that do sell our data to place fake names on the lists so the use of the data can be tested to make sure it’s not misused.
The Watchdog first brought this massive sell-off of your data to your attention in 2015. I reported that in 2014, DMV received $2.4 million for data sales. The money was deposited…