Feb 132013
 February 13, 2013  Laws, Misc

Mireya Villarreal of CBS in Dallas reports:

The State of Texas made millions of dollars selling your private information last year. We’re talking about your name, address, and even what kind of car you drive.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) claims protecting your information is a top priority for them. A federal law guides them on just who can buy your private information and how they use it. But we found out the Texas DMV might not be monitoring this as closely as they claim.


CBS 11’s I-Team Investigator Mireya Villarreal discovered nearly 2,500 agencies or businesses purchased the DMV’s data in some form last year. On this list there are towing companies, collection agencies, insurance companies, hospitals, banks, schools, city governments, and even private investigators. How much they pay depends on the kind of information or quantity they’re looking for.

Read more on CBS.  And if you make it deeper into the article, you’ll find this interesting statement:

The Driver Privacy Protection Act is a federal law. And the fine print actually says businesses can use your information for marketing or solicitations if the state has obtained your consent. That means, some drivers can opt in or out of these databases.

Problem is – Texas didn’t adopt that portion of the law. So, drivers in the Lone Star State are stuck. But Elliston says if you feel like your information is being abused you can report the company.

CBS also provides a spreadsheet that lists all the companies that purchased personal information in 2012. If you’re a Texan, you may want to take a look at that. The schools listed seem to be universities, and it’s often their campus police or parking departments that have purchased information.

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