PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A state lawmaker has taken up an effort in Harrisburg to stop PennDOT from selling people’s personal information to third parties for profit.
It’s been going on for decades, and it’s made PennDOT millions of dollars.
But one state lawmaker says the money isn’t worth it if it compromises personal information.
Some places like insurance companies need the information PennDOT provides in order to issue your car insurance. Also, potential employers may need the information.
But where it goes from there is the point of concern.
The biggest concern for most of us when it comes to our driver’s license is – just how bad is the picture? But what about the basic information on your license, which PennDOT makes available for $9 a head.
PennDOT says there are certain entities that can get the information, and it’s basically your name, address, birthdate and driving record.
“That is my information,” said Jennifer Washington, of Bridgeville. “I don’t want someone paying to get my information. “
“Basically, they are selling our identities,” said Nafahetti Taylor, of Jeannette, “Wow, that’s ridiculous. I think we should do something about it.”
State Rep. Rob Matzie is trying to do just that.
“We should not be in the business of being a clearing house for selling information about out consumers,” said Rep. Matzie.
A recent audit of a company that purchased information has raised accountability issues. Although, PennDOT does not believe anyone has been jeopardized.
Rep. Matzie says there’s not enough accountability, so he’s introduced a bill to stop the release of your information except to insurance companies.
“Any piece of anyone’s information is part of a puzzle that could lead to identity theft,” he says.
“I work in a business where identity theft is a high concern, and anything that reveals that depth of information, I think, is ludicrous,” said Randy Grossman, of Pittsburgh
If Rep. Matzie’s bill is passed, he says it will cost PennDOT about $45 million in lost revenue. PennDOT says it has not had time to study the bill in order to be able to comment.