It’s deja vu all over again: there’s another lawsuit in Minnesota over improper access to the state’s driver’s license database. This time, however, it’s not a police officer suing over improper access by colleagues. David Hanners reports:
A former Minneapolis bureaucrat claims that co-workers and other city officials repeatedly looked up her state driver’s license records unlawfully for no good reason.
Lori Anne Olson claims in a suit in U.S. District Court that between September 2006 and January 2012, city employees used city computers to pull up her private data 26 times.
They did so, she claims, “in hopes of finding harmful information that could be used to discipline, manipulate and embarrass” her.
Read more on Pioneer Press.
In addition to the her lawsuit and one that settled recently, the Star Tribune reported last month that a top city housing inspector and a colleague are facing criminal charges for accessing the state’s driver’s license database without legitimate business purposes. In his coverage of that case, Eric Roper reported:
Misuse of driver and vehicle services (DVS) records is a common problem among public employees across Minnesota, according to state audits,, but records show that it rarely leads to criminal prosecution.
Well, maybe if they get hit with a few more big lawsuits, they’ll decide to secure the database better, monitor access and flag problems quickly, and actually, you know… what’s that word… discpline employees who access the database in excess of their authorization?
And I don’t want to jinx them, but if their security is that poor, it’s somewhat surprising that there hasn’t been a major hack and data dump of Minnesotans’ driver’s license info and the personal info also maintained in that database. They did have one breach in April 2012 when an employee lent login credentials to someone who worked for a car repossession firm, but I am not aware of any hacks.