*Senate OKs Bill to Restrict Driver Data

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The Senate yesterday passed the Senate Transportation Appropriations bill, H.R. 2084, 95-0, which includes an amendment that could make major changes to the 1994 Driver Privacy Protection Act. The act allows consumers the chance to opt out of any disclosure of driver data if they do not want it disseminated to direct marketers.

The new amendment, however, introduced in mid-June by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, will require that drivers give specific permission before their data can be released for any purpose except law enforcement.

The $49.5 billion transportation appropriations bill has been turned over to a House-Senate conference, where deliberations on the DPPA will resume. The bill must be passed and signed by President Clinton before Oct. 1, when Congress' FY00 begins. The DMA is conducting meetings with lobbyists to work on changing the provision in the final version of the bill.

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