Michigan’s Secretary of State Candice S. Miller said yesterday that she is seeking to ban junk mail list sales by the Department of the State following last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding of the Driver Privacy Protection Act.
In addition, she said State Rep. Tony Stamas has drafted legislation to ban the sale of lists by the Department for marketing , survey and solicitation purposes.
“I believe government must be sensitive to the concerns of citizens about government invasion into their personal privacy,” said Miller, in a statement. “In light of last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court, Michigan can and should get out of the business of selling lists for marketing purposes, and I have asked the legislature to take swift action to do so.”
Miller said that even though “our department will lose a revenue source, clearly, we need to put the right to personal privacy over dollars.”
Elizabeth Boyd, a spokesperson for Miller, said that last year Michigan made $1 million in revenue form the sale of driver data.
Boyd also said that Michigan is going one step further than the DPPA in banning list sales — while the law calls for restricting access to drivers' personal information, it does not specifically ban list sales.
In 1997, Miller implemented the Department’s opt-out program under the federal DPPA. Since the program went into effect, nearly 70,000 opt-out declarations have been filed with the Secretary’s ‘s office. In 1998, Miller took further steps to comply with the DPPA by restricting access to personal information on the driver file to only those individuals who had a legally defined permissable use for the data. Names and addresses could not be released to individuals unless they had a legal purpose to obtain the information or the written consent of the person whose record they wanted.
In addition, she insisted the electronic images, photographs, and signatures form the driver licenses would not be for sale.