Report shows that DMVs across the country are selling personal information to private companies

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Report shows DMVs have been selling customer data

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A report obtained by Motherboard, a tech news website operated by Vice Media, showed that DMVs nationwide have been selling people's names, addresses and other information to private companies.

>> Read more trending news 

A recent public records act requested by Motherboard revealed that the California Department of Motor Vehicles was paid just over $50 million in 2018 by commercial companies seeking users' data. The DMV did not specify which companies specifically have purchased the data but told Vice that they included insurance companies, car manufacturers and prospective employers.

According to FOX Business, the California DMV also made around $40 million in 2013-2014.

"(The DMV) does not sell driver information for marketing purposes or to generate revenue outside of the administrative cost of the program. DMV is statutorily required to provide certain driver- and vehicle-related information and is permitted to recover its costs for doing so," DMV spokesperson Anita Gore told FOX Business.

In early November, the California Department of Motor Vehicles improperly shared private data with the IRS and the Department of Homeland Security, according to KTLA.

story published earlier this year by Motherboard revealed that DMVs in many states have sold data to private investigator firms, which is legal under federal law.

The Driver Privacy Protection Act was passed in 1994 in an effort to protect data obtained by the DMV to ensure privacy of personal information. Prior to the law, anyone could obtain the address or similar information of an individual through driving records at a DMV. Other exceptions exist under the DPPA that permit the DMV to sell data to consumer credit reporting companies and LexisNexis.

Read more about that report here.