Chris Essig reports:
This year’s census has some citizens fearing they are giving away too much personal information to the federal government.
But in Illinois, state officials already sell personal information to insurance companies, federal and state government agencies and others, raking in millions of dollars along the way.
Personal information found on driver’s licenses, driving records, vehicle registration and insurance documentation is available to not only law enforcement, but other outlets as well. The Secretary of State’s office holds the information and charges a fee of $12 per record to companies who wish to look at the data.
Last year, the state made $61.1 million selling personal information. In 2007, the Secretary of State’s office received $64.3 million, while in 2008 it brought in $63.9 million.
The majority of the income comes from insurance companies that primarily request information to determine if they wish to cover someone and what rates to set, said Henry Haupt, spokesman for the secretary of state’s office.
Read more in the Quad-City Times.