DMV

What you need to know:

Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) across the country sell driver data to third parties that include large institutions like employers, law firms, credit reporting agencies, financial institutions and data brokers but also to small businesses and individuals like private investigators, tow companies, bail bond firms and bounty hunters.

Data points can including your names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses and vehicle information.

Depending on the state, licensing for these small businesses that can buy your data can be minimal or non-existent. Plus once the data is sold, there is no telling how it is shared with other parties. These factors can potentially lead to your information landing in the wrong hands.

Legislation was passed in 1994 to restrict some DMV data sharing after an actress was murdered by a stalker having obtained her address through the DMV. But that legislation contains a number of loopholes and can still lead to your data shared broadly. 

Learn More:

How DMVs sell data to private investigators

Rebecca Schaeffer, an actress murdered by a stalker which obtained her address from the DMV

What to do:

There is no way to opt out of these databases. There is essentially nothing you can do to stop this. The only change will have to come in the form of state legislation to bar this practice.