SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – A new report shows the California Department of Motor Vehicles is cashing in by selling drivers’ personal information, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
According to Vice tech news site Motherboard, the agency made $51 million last year, by selling data that included drivers’ names, addresses and car registration information.
It is unclear who is buying the data, but a previous investigation by the same news organization found DMV agencies around the country were selling the information to data brokers, credit agencies and personal investigators.
The report has prompted reaction in the presidential race, with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeting, “Nobody — from agencies like the DMV to large corporations like Facebook and Google — should be profiting from sharing or selling personal information without meaningful consent.”
The DMV should not use its trove of personal information as a tool to make money. Nobody—from agencies like the DMV to large corporations like Facebook and Google—should be profiting from sharing or selling personal information without meaningful consent. https://t.co/HsVe6ieBLf
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 9, 2019
A DMV spokesperson told Vice the agency’s data-selling practices are in compliance with state law.
The report comes as the DMV attempts to address numerous issues. Lines at many offices have been long as as millions seek REAL ID cards ahead of the October 2020 deadline. There are also issues with the implementation of the “Motor Voter” program and earlier this month, the agency acknowledged that it improperly disclosed the private information of 3,200 people to seven government agencies.