Lawsuit Claims Arkansas DMV Database Used for Marketing

January 21, 2010

A federal lawsuit filed in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas claims the Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicle database has been illegally used for marketing and it could affect anyone who has had an Arkansas driver’s license since 2000.

“Plaintiffs and the members of the class have suffered harm as their private information has been obtained unlawfully,” the Jan. 14 complaint states.

“In addition to violation of this legally protected right, plaintiffs and members of the class have suffered harm by virtue of increased risks to them associated with having their protected data in the possession of numerous individuals.”

The lawsuit accuses the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association of Little Rock, TRW Target Marketing of Little Rock and The Recall Center of Spanish Fork, Utah, of using the Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicles database for marketing purposes in violation of the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

The act outlines for what purposes the state motor vehicle databases can be purchased and specifically prohibits the use of the information for marketing.

The defendants haven’t been served with the complaint.

“Until I see this, I really can’t comment,” said Keith Hayes, owner of the Recall Center. “I haven’t bought data from them in over a year.”

Hayes said his business assists the auto industry by helping get vehicles back into car dealerships.

Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association spokesman Dennis Youngblood said he hasn’t been served with notice of the suit, either.

“We don’t use the information we get for marketing purposes,” Youngblood said. “We provide information to dealers but not names and addresses.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven Arkansans and asks that anyone who has had an Arkansas driver’s license from June 1, 2000, to the date the suit is resolved be included as a plaintiff and benefit from any judgment.

The Driver’s Privacy and Protection Act authorizes a $2,500 penalty for each violation of the law. The suit asks that drivers be compensated $2,500 for each “instance in which the defendants obtained, disclosed or used personal information concerning the plaintiffs and members of the class.”

Information from: Texarkana Gazette,

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