The California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV) has been revealed to be earning revenue of $50 million per year from the sale of state drivers’ personal information.
Motherboard, VICE media’s tech publication, filed a public record acts request to the CA DMV, requesting the total dollar amounts paid by commercial requesters of data for the past six years.
The CA DMV responded by sending documents with the total break of their revenue for the fiscal year 2013/14 as $41,562,735, and $52,048,236 for the fiscal year 2017/18.
The document highlighted that the earnings were from the sale of specific information including names, physical addresses, and car registration information.
The document did not list which companies had purchased the CA DMV info, but the list may include insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers, and prospective employers.
Vice had previously reported on this practice by the DMV in September, however the practice has not seemed to stop.
Marty Greenstein, public information officer at the California DMV, wrote that its sale furthers objectives related to highway and public safety, “including availability of insurance, risk assessment, vehicle safety recalls, traffic studies, emissions research, background checks, and for pre- and existing employment purposes.”
There has been no further response at this time from the DMV.