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04/08/2003 Archived Entry: "ACLU tackles Florida for violating drivers' privacy"
THE ACLU HAS JUST ASKED ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT TO HALT SOME PROFITABLE LAWBREAKING IN FLORIDA. Seems that Florida officials have been making a cool $27 million a year selling info on drivers, vehicle owners, and state ID card holders to marketers. Selling out the "customers" without their explicit consent violates the 1994 federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)
The DPPA is a mixed bag, anyway. The very clear-thinking privacy advocate, Scott McDonald, has railed against it. Scott rightly points out that the DPPA unconstitutionally federalizes yet one more area of life. And -- ain't it typical? -- it doesn't actually "protect" any privacy. In fact, it requires states to disclose records to a veritable laundry list of Friends of Government.
Both the ACLU and Scott are right, even though their positions look irreconcilable. And we -- that is our grannies and great grannies -- asked for this the very first day they failed to say, "License? We don't need no stinking license!"
P.S. Carl Watner of The Voluntaryist has produced some good articles, demonstrating that drivers licenses weren't instituted to make the roads safer, but merely to make money for state governments. (Some states didn't even require driver competency testing for decades.) I don't think these writings are online yet, but when they are, I'll link to them.
Posted by Claire @ 06:59 PM CST