May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

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California DMV Exposes 3,200 SSNs of Drivers

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on November 5, 2019, that it allowed the Social Security numbers (SSNs) of 3,200 California drivers to be accessed by unauthorized individuals in other state and federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration and the district attorneys’ offices in Santa Clara and San Diego counties.

According to a news report, the access included the full Social Security numbers of individuals who were being investigated for criminal activity or compliance with tax laws. Apparently, the access also allowed investigators to see which drivers didn’t have Social Security numbers, which has given immigration advocates concern.

The DMV stated that the incident was not a hack, but rather, an error, and the unauthorized access was terminated when it was discovered on August 2, 2019. Nonetheless, the DMV notified the 3,200 drivers of the incident and the exposure of their personal information. The DMV issued a statement that it has “taken additional steps to correct this error, protect this information and reaffirm our serious commitment to protect the privacy rights of all license holders.”


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About this Author

Linn F. Freedman, Robinson Cole Law Firm, Cybersecurity and Litigation Law Attorney, Providence

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She provides guidance on data privacy and cybersecurity compliance to a full range of public and private clients across all industries, such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine, and charitable organizations. Linn is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and chairs its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team. She is also a member of the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team (CyFi ...