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The California DMV is making a ton of cash selling private data

Around $50 million a year to be exact.

cars on the highway using gps
Image: Unsplash

Google and other companies are notorious for selling user data. Even some DMVs are now guilty of doing the same, and they are making a lot of scratch from it.

The California DMV is selling off drivers’ private information, including names and addresses, to initiate revenue. This new report from Motherboard shows that the DMV in the Golden State has generated revenue in the seven figures.

The exact amount? $52M in the 2017/2018 fiscal year. The amount for the 2018/2019 is still not yet reported, but one can wager that it might be more.

Over $50M has been generated selling private information from California’s DMV

Despite the ongoing reports, executives are reassuring the public that selling drivers’ information is vital to investigations. Private Information Officer for the California DMV, Marty Greenstein, says his organization knows how important it is to them to keep drivers’ data under wraps.

The DMV takes its obligation to protect personal information very seriously. Information is only released pursuant to legislative direction, and the DMV continues to review its release practices to ensure information is only released to authorized persons/entities and only for authorized purposes.

A previous report from Motherboard shows that DMVs, not just in California, are selling it to private investigators. They are also selling them to other businesses that can profit off of someone’s information.

Lawmakers and politicians are taking note of this ongoing sale, including Vermont Senator, and 2020 Presidential Candidate, Bernie Sanders speaking out against it. “The DMV should not use its trove of personal information as a tool to make money,” Sanders says.

Do you think this is right? Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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