Why Is the California DMV Selling Drivers' Data for $50 Million—And to Whom? - The Drive | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
New information from Vice's Motherboard reveals that 12 California lawmakers have finally begun taking steps in understanding how the California DMV sells driver's data, as well as staging the building blocks to extend consumer protections to prevent what may be an egregious misuse of personal information.

The lawmakers are now requesting that the DMV reveal what kind of companies it has sold or provided data to, specifically inquiring if it has ever knowingly provided information to debt collectors, private investigators, data brokers, or law enforcement agencies. The California DMV had previously revealed to Vice that the companies requesting data "may include insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers, and prospective employers."

Further information requests involve the use of social security numbers, photos, licensee data of undocumented immigrants, and how the department handles requests for opt-outs.

It's estimated that the California DMV earns roughly $50 million each year from selling the personal information of Californians, but it isn't alone in doing so. Other states like Rhode Island have also partaken in this revenue generator, raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars using the same practices. Both states are a drop in the bucket compared to Florida, which brought in $77 million in 2017.