Tallahassee, Fla. –
In a shocking revelation, the Florida DMV has sold its records including Name, Address, Date of Birth, Vehicle Info, Insurance Company, along with any other personal information about drivers in Florida to private data-mining companies for $63 million. Those companies, in turn, sell that info to marketers, private investigators, credit reporting agencies, other government agencies, social networking sites and sadly, in some cases, hackers.
Under Florida’s Sunshine law, it’s all legal. In fact, Florida is rated as one of the best states to get information on residents because the state puts almost every record it has online and open to the public.
Privacy advocates say this is an unjustified invasion of privacy. Derek Newton, communications director for the ACLU of Florida, said “We regard the practice as an unnecessary invasion of personal privacy and [an] example of government creep into our private lives… The practice may be legal but that does not make it right.”
There has been growing fears among some that more of our deep and personal information is being sold to the highest bidder, and we have lost the right to be a private person. This action by the state is a step in that direction, “I feel like I can’t just be me without someone who has no business investigating me trying to sell me something,” says Cindy Thompson of Daytona.
The Sunshine law was originally meant to create an open government that is responsive to its citizens, but some fear it is becoming a government for hire, with no care in protecting you and your privacy.
Who knows, maybe someone will find out what temperature you like your bathwater and try to sell you bubbles or a thermometer?
More headlines here.