Gary is referring to attorney Joseph Malley, who discovered that Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) in at least 37 states are selling private driver information to thousands and thousands of entities. And Malley has filed cases involving about 145 million people. He has recently made countless vehicle owners aware that DMVs are selling your personal information for direct marketing, without your express consent. This is in direct violation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), and it’s a multi-billion dollar business from which you get nothing.
“Even if the DMV asked me and offered money to sell my private information I would still say NO,” says Gary. “It’s not worth all this junk mail I’m getting and these companies don’t stop unless you send them a cease and desist letter. And it makes you wonder who else is buying our information? The government is supposed to protect the consumers--not sell their information. This isn’t right.”
Soon after Gary bought a truck last summer he began to get letters and phone calls from service warranty companies. “They all told me that my warranty was running out and it was important that I extend it to 100,000 miles, immediately. I always ask how they get my information but they avoid the question and try their best to sell me something I don’t need.
I’m pissed off with the DMV. Of all people and agencies, you’d think the DMV would be safe and private. Instead it is making money selling our phone numbers and addresses to companies they don’t even know! For instance, I got a speeding ticket recently and then I got a call from several lawyers saying they could take care of it and save me hundreds of dollars. Does the North Carolina DMV even know what’s going on? I don’t appreciate it and I’ve filed a complaint.
Connie from Florida also wondered how companies knew her warranty was about to expire. “Myself, my son and my husband have all received cell phone calls and cards in the mail informing us that our car warranties had expired, when in fact they hadn’t,” she says. “It’s scary that our information is out there, available to anyone. We never consented to the DMV selling our information, and they didn’t ask.” Although angry and concerned, Connie is also relieved to find out that attorneys are banging on the DMVs doors and filing complaints. “I want to know what can be done to stop this. And is it too late to protect our privacy and security?”
According to epic.org, a public interest research center in Washington, DC., the DPPA prohibits the release or use by any State DMV of personal information about an individual obtained by the department in connection with a motor vehicle record. It sets penalties for violations and makes violators liable on a civil action to the individual to whom the released information pertains.
READ MORE DMV RECORD PRIVACY VIOLATIONS LEGAL NEWS
* For bulk marketing distribution if State has obtained express consent from the individual.
* Use by any requestor where the requestor can show written consent of the individual.
Clearly, the DMV is violating the DPPA by not getting consent. And trying to sell a vehicle warranty does not come under the following:
* Motor vehicle market research and surveys.
* Use in matters of motor vehicle safety, theft, emissions, product recalls.