Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

State DMVs Earn Millions by Selling Personal Data to Brokers and Marketing Firms

Adam Walser, ABC Tampa Bay:

I-Team Investigator Adam Walser obtained records showing the state sold information on Florida drivers and ID cardholders to more than 30 private companies, including marketing firms, bill collectors, insurance companies and data brokers in the business of reselling information.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles raked in more than $77 million for driver and ID cardholder information sales in fiscal 2017.

The I-Team wanted to know how much of that money came from marketing firms, but the agency in charge of driver information estimated it would take 154 hours of research and cost nearly $3,000 for the state to give taxpayers an answer.

TechCrunch reporter Sarah Perez pointed to several similar stories from South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and other states.

It’s no wonder policymakers are loathe to strictly regulate the use and dissemination of private data — they’re in on the grift.