Weekly Feature



2018-03-07 / Local News

Legislation would prevent DMV from selling driver data


Jacobs Jacobs State Sen. Chris Jacobs is pushing for approval of legislation he sponsored that will force the state Department of Motor Vehicles to comply with regulations that enable drivers to protect the confidentiality of their personal information.

“The DMV has been violating its own law by refusing to provide opt-out information on their forms,” Jacobs said. “My legislation mandates that DMV will clearly and prominently place opt-out information on all its forms, as well as its website.”

While serving as Erie County clerk, Jacobs discovered that the DMV had been selling the personal data of New York State drivers to private companies and reaping millions in profit. Further investigation revealed the agency had been ignoring a state law that required it allow drivers to “opt out” and prevent their personal information from being sold.

During his tenure as county clerk, and now as state senator, Jacobs has made repeated attempts to get the DMV to adhere to the existing opt-out requirements to assure drivers can enforce their right to keep their data private. With no cooperation from the agency, the senator maintains that a legislative fix is the appropriate next step.

“It’s sad and frustrating that you have to pass a law to compel a state agency to abide by an existing law, but that’s what it’s come to,” Jacobs said. “Since the DMV has not managed to make this opt-out information public, my legislation will specifically direct them on how to do so.”

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