The examiner asked all the questions you'd want to have asked to ensure public safety. Everything seemed to be going well. But, apparently at that point, the examiner noticed my friends political affiliation on his screen and lost his shit over it, angrily impugning him in ways that were hostile and unprofessional. I had to walk out of his office into the main lobby and ask for a supervisor. I hope that was a one-off situation; A low level bureaucrat having a bad day. But the fact that a small bit of personal data could be used against a person in that way is troubling.
Was your friend wearing a MAGA hat?
does that somehow excuse the actions of the DMV person in any way? I don't see how it's relevant, given that a public official shouldn't discriminate against political affiliation regardless.
If they're going to store it for any reason, they should at least hide it from the low level workers... there's no reason anyone, of any political affiliation, should have to even talk about something so irrelevant to the role of the DMV. Not to mention, it would speed things along for everyone and that's a real benefit that we all need.
That it's been co-opted for marketing isn't really surprising; most of your public records are consumed by private companies to use to make money off you. One big example is how legal proceedings show up on your credit report.
EDIT: Your driving record is indeed a public record. So, easy bet.
Why do companies pay the DMV for this information if they can just FOIA it from them for free?
Technically, yes, you can request records from FOIA and sell them. Though, many public records laws are very specific about whether you are requesting as a for-profit org, and can deny your request on that basis. If that isn't the issue, then your request can be rejected for being voluminous, so generally you have to find a public interest argument for the release of records. That public interest argument very, very likely doesn't exist in the case of the info being sold here. It ends up being a major PITA to get large amounts of data.
So, orgs instead go down the contract route. There's really no need to go through the hassle of public records nuance if your contract includes access to those records.
(This is a super deep subject, so I'm just scratching the surface.)
The data is extremely specific. It's a database of the majority of Americans:
* Some contact details
* Cars registered (and the relationship to individuals and households)
I wish there was some way to opt out of this.
In California, there sort of is.
First: you can register _two_ addresses with the DMV. One is your "mailing address" and is what is shown on your ID and gets sold with dumps like this, the other is your "residence address" and is a little bit more protected. If someone tries to run your plate number through any civilian system, they're only going to get your "mailing address" and NEVER your "residence address."
Second: you can get a "Private Mailbox" service. PMBs are really useful in their own right, but with USPS rules you CANNOT send unsolicited or bulk mail to these addresses. The USPS keeps a database and is very good about filtering these off.
So: Get a PMB and use it as your "mailing address." This will keep the marketers one step away from your real information and will prevent large amounts of spam from reaching you. Most PMBs have a "forward when full" or "forward on schedule" service, where they'll empty your box for you and then forward all of that to whatever address you provide them.
I've been doing this for 10 years now and it's been fantastic.
I've been using PMBs for 15+ years. I still get bulk junk mail.
I could have been more clear.. you can still get "junk mail" but you shouldn't be getting "pre-sorted bulk mail." The latter typically comes addressed to "RESIDENT or CURRENT OWNER" or something similar, which is a fair amount of standard junk, but also catalogs, coupon books, weekly shopping flyers and phone books.
Those items are typically mailed using the pre-sorted bulk rate, which is not available for PMBs and a few other types of addresses.
Anyone can just send regular rate mail to a PMB and that can obviously be "junk" or "unsolicited commercial" mail, so there are no special restrictions in that sense, but compared to my prior residential mail volume my PMB only receives about 10% the amount of "junk" that I used to endure.
Some states even allow a PMB to be used for both mailing and residence address for driver licenses and registration, such as South Dakota. You need proof you spent a night at a campground or hotel, along with a receipt for your PMB.
So if you sell your house to hit the road full time, your former state might be picky about address so people use a relative address or just change their domicile to a friendly state who recognizes full time RVing.
Also kinda interesting South Dakota made it illegal for red light cameras to access the DMV database, and they even revoked access to a city in Iowa on the border. So police officers must phone in all driver license and registration checks instead of being able to use the computer. So no longer automated, but cops will still manually review the footage and write a ticket as a work around. So basically no difference they witnessed it in person or sitting at a computer watching remotely. Just no longer automated process, wouldn't surprise me if for all other states still automatic but it has like a inbox for SD plates to manually review.
I guess cities all away across the country are in violation of South Dakota law possibly, but I guess at most they can do is just deny you access to their computers. and if you ended up getting a ticket it's probably still valid no matter what SD law says. I know in Ohio there's been a battle between the state and cities. Dayton for example has illegally kept the cameras on, now the state says they can but all money collected will be subtracted from any money the city gets from the state. Be interesting if Dayton ever captured any South Dakota plates, but not sure if it'd be going too far if a sheriff in a small county decided to expedite the mayor of Dayton, Ohio to stand trial for violating South Dakota data access laws.
That's like a ship's flag of convenience... Do any states actively encourage RVers to change domicile? Presumably they could get tax returns from it? I'm guessing RVers are a mixture of high and low income earners.
SD I guess is making millions from people who barely use the roads. Some say it's to inflate population for census numbers, so more seats in congress, electoral college votes and federal funding... But not sure how RVers are counted... Not sure if they send census forms to PMBs.
Also was reading census workers will go to hotels and campgrounds, but that sounded odd to me since aren't a lot of those people are on vacation? Some say it's supposed to be a snapshot of April first. So I guess if a New York resident is spending the winter in FL, then FL would get credit for them? It seems like some different interpretations.
Then your former state might be strict about addresses, unless you use a relative or homeless shelter address... but if you are RVing by choice, don't really think a homeless shelter would be appropriate and if you are across the country I feel like they'd expect you to come to pick up your mail instead of forwarding it or scanning it. I know I heard a story someone in Michigan rented a mailbox because they didn't want to go worried about another domicile yet, changed it online and they accepted it. Then later got a letter with a short amount of time to get a residential address or be suspended. So they had to either use a family or friend's address or rush to another state. So a lifelong resident was kicked out of their home state because they wanted to live an alternative lifestyle.
So if your state doesn't recognize full time RVing, you are stuck getting established in a new state. Full time RVers with money sometimes struggle with this, getting all the documents together. One couple went to SD but his wife had to get a new copy of her marriage license. Also, some states won't accept some birth certificates anymore due to Real ID, meaning you need to get a new one. I guess the rules changed about 20 years ago. I feel sorry for people who are truly homeless, and then you need one document to get another document, proofs of address, affidavits, and everything. It feels like a real way to suppress people sadly.
At least with SD and FL, you don't have to physically bring your car though... So you could fly if forced to change on short notice, get a new license and register your cars. FL will let you register without bringing it too, however, you need a VIN inspection affidavit but even out of state police officers are allowed to sign it. Some RV blogs talk about that. SD has no vin inspections, and there was a group of fraudsters changing vin numbers slightly to register stolen cars in SD because of how lax they are. November 2018 it looks is when the theft ring got caught.
Also, SD doesn't require an in state address for registrations, only licenses. There was a report that Nebraska residents registered in South Dakota because it's cheaper, however, if you live in Nebraska with a Nebraska driver license, you are breaking the law in Nebraska. Maine is supposed to be lax too with trailers and motorcycles if I recall. Some trucking companies also pick lax states.
Some estimate there are a million RVers, I kinda wish the feds would step in and offer a program maybe. If you worked remotely traveling full time or retired in an RV, I think it's stupid you have to still be tied to a state somehow. Right now only US government owned vehicles have federal license plates. But I guess no one really considered this was a possibility maybe? One county in SD has more RVers than people with actual houses and apartments. Apparently, you can vote for state and fed elections with your PMB, but local issues they won't let you anymore I've heard from someone in a FB group... Not sure how true that is or even if that's legal since that's the address on your license and even a homeless person using a park bench could vote. Clay County in FL has also been challenging voting rights for RVers. There was a lawsuit in Texas over RVers using an address in Livingston, TX but Texas recognized their voting rights in the end.
Some people RV by choice traveling the country, while out in cities where housing is so high people buy a RV that barely runs to live in them on the side of the street, some even dumping sewage since can't afford a dump station. So I think some RV people are homeless, but the ones doing it by choice I wouldn't consider them homeless even though some might view them as homeless. Some RVs can get expensive, there are million dollar ones with granite countertops, but then they probably weight more so more fuel. I think personally I'd aim around 35 feet, as probably could fit more places compared to a 40 footer.
I follow some vloggers, but I think it's a neat lifestyle to dream of, plus tech keeps getting better and better. Some day might even have decent satellite internet. Some people even have full time RV families too, doing homeschooling aka roadschooling. One guy owns a marketing company, so he can pretty much manage things from an RV or on a cruise ship. So be nice to follow the weather, sightsee and explore. But it's not an all vacation, got to balance work and play, still got to clean, go grocery shopping, etc. Similar to living in a house but it has wheels. But the whole country can be your backyard.
This is basically what already SD does and they do so easily so there's little demand for a federal service.
SD's policy is basically that no matter what it is as long as you can provide some sort of proof of ownership you can tag it. To someone who lives out of an RV and has no good way of proving an address or a myriad of other situations can often be out of luck (or in for a heck of a battle with the bureaucracy) in other states. SD makes a buck off that inefficiency.
IMO if the other states don't want to lose out on the tax money then they should make their processes not suck. Except for people from a few states with sky high cost of registration we're talking like a double digit number of dollars per year. With a difference that small most people with a residence will just register in that state for peace of mind.
But I guess that's their loss and SD has carved out a niche for themselves.
Then also was doing research randomly about colleges, you could be a resident for taxes but not for in-state tuition. Then if you lived in California but your parents decided to retire to Florida... but if you wanted to stay in California for school, since tuition goes by your parents domicile while still a dependent. There could be a period of time you won't be eligible for instate tuition in California anymore, but not yet in Florida yet either as some states it can be 12 months or more to qualify. Sometimes it's a full calendar year, not staying for six months. Then also it seems schools like info on parents even if you aren't a dependant anymore, was reading someone in his 30s was going back for his masters and the admissions person was giving him a hard time for leaving his parents info blank. I wonder if maybe they wanted it to help track him down for any future unpaid debts maybe, seemed really odd to me but maybe it's common.
I got accepted in a school in Florida but never went as my family didn't want me taking out a lot of loans. It was a private school, so tuition being in state or not didn't matter. But they asked for contact info for my step dads work, wanted another family members info like say a uncle, friends contacts, etc. Was doing it all over online over the phone and e-signing stuff. 60,805 total for four years, but that didn't include housing and they were a bit pushy. The rep even asked if you want to be like your parents and stuff to try and pressure you.
If what you said applied to other states, somebody would have ceased exchanging data with them.
Looks like it passed in 2014.
https://sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStat... and https://sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStat...
so I guess it's illegal to collect people's info for civil red light or speed cameras... However I don't know if that's a good enough excuse to dismiss the ticket. I feel like they'd issue them regardless of what SD says, but then they risk losing computer access.
Some cities in Iowa said they'd respect South Dakota's law while other cities said they wouldn't .Sounds like Sioux City, IA was the main city they got in a battle with.
https://www.foxnews.com/us/border-war-iowa-finds-way-to-issu... and https://www.ksfy.com/home/headlines/South-Dakota-blocks-Siou... and https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/business-journal/2019...
People still getting tickets though, but kinda interesting SD made it harder.
Edit: I found the article! "Daugaard’s office sent Sioux City a letter on Tuesday evening saying Sioux City officers will only receive a registered owner’s name when making an electronic request for information. Officers will be able to call South Dakota dispatchers to gain address information for any criminal enforcement purpose."
But it also kinda makes me wonder how well states even log access. For example a state trooper pulled over a miami police officer at gun for speeding and leading her on a chase. So then the two departments had bad blood with each other, and even that trooper got harassing phone calls, threats, prank calls even pizzas ordered to her house. It's alleged that officers from 25 juridictions all across the state illegally accessed her info to retaliate. Wouldn't surprise me if Facebook or Google has stricter policies on viewing personal information than the states do. I heard snooping through users data at a lot of tech companies is a fireable offence. It seems like being a police officer is like joining some sort of cult if this is how they retaliate agaisnt a fellow officer for following the law.
https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-sb-jane-watts-... and https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-cops-stalking-woman...
The Florida issue isn’t a rule issue, its imo already a no-no.
"We have obtained your personal data from the following company / database".
Right to legal remedy (read: lawsuit), far more powerful.
Agreed, but I would much rather it be opt-in. Privacy should be a default, not an added burden.
Many states exempt RVs from those rules, and it goes by your state of domicile. So legal in FL, your also legal in TX or IL... So to drive a 38 foot RV, towing a Jeep weighting over 26,000 pounds is just needing a large checkbook, no real experience in about half the US. I know NY and TX are a bit stricter, but FL, SD, TN, OH it's just having the money, thanks to the RV lobby wanting to make it easier for retired couples. Kinda interesting If you lived in NY, sold the house, then rented a mailbox and spend a night in South Dakota, then spend a half hour at the very empty small town DMV. Now you have a more powerful driver license by default than New York State issues.
School buses are considered commercial vehicles, but rip out the seats, put a bed, fridge, stove, bathroom and retitle it as a RV, then no longer need a CDL to drive the same bus too, but some states make it easier than others to do a conversion. Some states it's just filing out a form, while others are more picky wanting to inspect it.
this includes phone numbers and it causes about 90% of phone spam...
hence why I have been always poking at the fact that facebook, google, and their like, are not the threat. the threat has always been government, either through open records like this is people within it using other internal databases to find ways to harass you.
The risk is the bigger data aggregators, as they mix this data and add value. The data is sold on the cheap. Adtech and data aggregation is almost completely deregulated, and these companies add “value”, which is risk to you as an individual.
How does it follow from one group being a threat, that the other one is not? This is an awfully weird form of denial. It would be more coherent to insist that there is absolutely no problem with any surveillance.
It's fascinating how this view is typically American, while the exact opposite is more common in Europe.
Well, the CA DMV has like 70 offices across the state. Even if you just calculate the portion of the cost for processing driver license management, registration, etc, it'll easily eat those 50 million USD + whatever the total driver license etc fees are.
I hate interacting with the CA DMV with quite some passion, but I don't see how those 50 million USD are really the problem. If anything, the DMV seems under staffed / financed. Partially that's management problems, sure, but I don't think that's all.
It was a great experience. show up, someone ( no waiting!) asks me what I'm there for and hands me the appropriate form (circling the actual areas I needed to answer) and gives me a ticket. in 5ish mins I was called up, handed in my form and papers, and they processed my new ID, sending me to a second area for a pic and to get my ID. Total visit time: less than 15 mins.
Several years later, after a new governor and the inevitable budget cuts, most of this was gone. Still had the intake, but no one helped me decipher the form, and the wait was much longer. The atmosphere was similarly dour, with a big crowd of people that just wanted to get this errand done but had to wait. Total visit time: over 1 hour.
But the basic contrast showed me how much of complaints about govt slowness is just a matter of funding/staffing.
I recently had to figure out how to register a vehicle bought out of state: rather than research online it was quicker and more pleasant to just walk in and ask.
That’s the DMV in San Francisco —Daly City in this case because I can at least find parking.
Given that the fees don't cover things like offsetting the impact of a car’s CO2 emissions, you might even ask why are your fees so damn low?
Always running the government lean means that service cuts will be much worse during hard times because there's no money saved up.
National average for property tax revenue growth is ~4% YoY .
TLDR, California sees a bigger Property tax revenue growth then the national average.
> But California’s effective tax rate is even lower. The effective tax rate is based on the market value of the home, and the most recent property tax bills for the county. In 2018, the state had an effective tax rate of 0.76%, according to Irvine, California-based ATTOM Data Solutions.
California’s effective tax rate ranked 36th in the country, with the average property tax bill coming out to $5,354, according to ATTOM’s data.
That lower effective property tax rate is because so many properties do not change ownership for decades or for generations, while property values have posted healthy increases, Mr. Soroy said.
if not, 40m people in CA -> this is $1.25/person/year. or 14m estimated cars; this is $3.57/car/year.
1) email + snail mail registration reminder
2) accept digital payments
3) maintain database of registered vehicles
So if the new California privacy legislation is being abused by certain government institutions, that's not an unavoidable situation, and the voters should keep pressure on their representatives to amend these laws and change that.
If the 3rd party screws up and gets sued the taxpayer isn't footing the bill so they have incentive not to screw up. Every time the contract renews you have an opportunity to go with a totally new organization whereas even the best efforts at refreshing a government department wind up as a sort of ship of Theseus. A 3rd party also has a damn good incentive not to treat people badly because they are the customer and they have a contract renewal hanging over their head. A 3rd party also has no incentive to spend big bucks operating MRAPs and other military toys that are not relevant to the job at hand. It probably makes sense to retain investigative work under the government umbrella (avoids some conflicts of interests) but for routine patrol duties, security and traffic detail there is no advantage to having official government police instead of private security, at least from the perspective of the people being policed.
A lot of societies current gripes with policing would be mitigated under the incentive structure that having a 3rd party contractor gets you. I'm sure other problems would pop up but I don't think they would equal or surpass our current problems so it would be a net improvement.
Privatised security is an almost prototypical dystopian nightmare. Look no further than TSA. Millgram might have fudged his data, but the idea that giving someone a uniform and power over others tends to awry is still somewhat plausible.
Other examples: those rent-a-goons shooting civilians in Iraq for sport. (With, by the way, double the salary and many military toys not relevant to the job at hand). The US health system also comes to mind, only that you would have even less choice to chose your local police short of moving.
I've generally had better experiences with airports whose TSA screening is contracted out to third parties (eg. SFO) than those where it's done by the government agency itself (eg. JFK, Boston Logan).
the "kids for cash" scandal was in Pennsylvania unless you were thinking of another case where that was going on.
There's also the movie "Holes", the book it was based on, and the reality it was based on. "Boot camps" are plagued with corruption, abuse, and neglect all over the US. Wherever you are, if you dig deeply enough, you are likely to find someone profiting from children's misery.
Anyway I am sure I got some details wrong, it was fairly interesting news when it all went down.
Look at the US military procurement programs. By getting unaccountable soldiers out of the way, we have cost-efficient, effective contractors saving the taxpayer money every day.
It's painful to see that people seem to not even be aware anymore that our societies have yet another organising principle beyond capitalism, namely democracy.
Sure, you never agreed to be somewhat dependent on "society". But there just isn't enough land to live in the anarcho-libertarian fantasy where you don't have to find compromises. And the standard hyperbole of the "threat of violence" makes even less sense if you unquestioningly champion capitalism while rejecting democracy, because capitalism also relies on the ultimate threat of violence, as anyone not paying their rent will notice sooner or later.
Is the problem here that they are selling DMV records related to authorization to drive a car (public records) or that in order to exist you need an identification and therefore regardless of whether you own a car you have to deal with the DMV?
I would argue it is the latter. Defacto sale of one's identity that is required by the state to interact with it.
Outside of that record, I have no problem with public records being available to the public provided the fee structure is not causing corruption / capture (causing prices to inflate unreasonably) and data is being provided to everyone at the same rate.
I think the problem is that they're selling people's phone number AND full address (which most people consider private information, not assumed to be public).
> The data sold varies from state to state, but it typically includes a citizen's name and address. In others, it can also include their nine-digit ZIP code, date of birth, phone number, and email address
If a state were to sell all of those things that would indeed be odd.
Given that the California CPA clearly considers this type of information to be private, not public, information, that seems like a fair thing to consider a problem...
There's no particular reason that car ownership (or house ownership and pricing) needs to be public information.
The California data -- in "BAR-90" or "BAR-97" formats, included 100s, possibly several thousand, individual fields. The datasets were based on test standards and equipment, those are documented here: https://www.bar.ca.gov/pdf/BAR-97_Specification_July_2017.pd...
Key elements are the owner's name, VIN, vehicle make, model, year, and colour, and the odometer reading (of interest to insurers).
I'm not condoning selling this data, but high-mileage drivers are probably more expensive to insure because more miles means more accidents. Auto insurance companies shouldn't be a public policy mechanism to subsidize low-wage workers.
But there's also an equitibilty element to that risk: it falls inordinantly on those who must drive, must drive long distances, and have no viable alternatives -- carpooling, transit, or remote work. Most impacted are delivery drivers (obviously), particularly those who use their own vehicles (e.g., pizza and other low-end delivery work), real estate agents, construction workers, service workers, rural residents generally, and those with nonstandard commute patterns, either off-peak, alternate-shift, multiple jobs, or highly-variable hours.
To the extent that these are workers often under-compensated for their work, and offering services benefiting society at large, the impacts are all the more inequitable. The risks are independent of actual driver safety practices and attentiveness.
Insurance is an inherently social function, one that's heavily regulated, and has specific exemptions to anti-trust regulations, in return for the benefits it provides. All business ultimately serves the public interest (or should -- an unpopular view but one expressed explicitly by Adam Smith), and should society determine that a specific public interest be served, then it has the legal authority to mandate and regulate those goals.
You already said this, and while I'd like to see more data, I don't outright disagree with the premise that low-wage workers might drive more in personal vehicles.
And you didn't address my point that, if you think these workers should be subsidized, there are better, more direct ways than through insurance companies. Could be a minimum wage, tax credits for vehicles driven for work, better regulations around personal vehicles used for work.
Looking for "commute distance vs. income" I'm not finding much by way of useful results, though a commute time by state/city (tracked by the US Census) is available. That conflates private vehicle vs. transit use (transit tends to take longer), and congestion vs. distance. For the most part, the data show longer times in urban and coastal states, and much shorter especially in the intermountain / western plains states.
... Except for the deep south, where you'll find both low incomes and long commute times.
That's very broad-scale data, but provides a hint of disparity.
- Where's the "Buy it Now" page for this data?
- Is the information sold in aggregate or per record?
- Do Californian's have an idea of who is buying the information?
- Do Californians have an option to opt-out?
Disclaimer: I work for an election services company (printing mostly), but don't know the details of the above.
As an unexpected bonus I no longer need to argue that no I cannot go through the machine that will fry my glucose monitor nor do they try to open my sterile medication any more.
Note: I am unable to respond to comments, so don't expect it.
I got it...
Ask the armed services for some lunch money...
The air force could just donate half a wing of an f35 and it would more than pay for this...
Plus, it's highly likely (based on existing private companies handling public works) that you'd have to provide your own name as a driver to the government for auditing and revocation purposes.
If you want legal rights from the government, you have to give them legal data. And for the purposes of transparency, you have to be able to get that data back out, which is likely how this particular loophole came about originally.
(That site started out selling access to Texans' records.)
But the government selling your data to the highest bidder is worse than a private firm doing it - because they have the significant advantage of being the source of truth of that data itself. Every other firm is likely needing to piece together the public data that's out there, or that they've gathered themselves, and package it up. The government can just sell the data out of its operational database and guarantee its accuracy. The incentives here are really grim.
We need to tell the government that this is not ok. They might even then think of stopping private firms from doing the same.
Given the general sentiment of "people shouldn't be allowed to drive once L5 driving automation is implemented" on forums like this and even among the general public, not being allowed to ride in Google (or Uber's) cars could become a particularly big deal.
Even Facebook is protecting my data better than the DMV. Even back-alley shady deals that share my data with undisclosed partners are preferable to literally allowing anyone who asks to have it.
It's crazy how much information on ordinary people is considered public -- including voting information like party affiliation, which is just absurd to me. People shouldn't be able to just ask the government which party I'm registered with.
This kind of information is available on most if not all property and business. I'm not sure why it would be different for automobiles? Public records are public. Would you feel better if this was provided for free to anyone vs. some sort of revenue-generator for the state? The last question is not rhetorical. I'm honestly not sure which one would be practically best, though data availability for free sounds like the best option to avoid corruption.
Besides, as another commenter pointed out, it's quite possible other states do the same.
Are you seriously OK with profit-driven organizations collecting information about every aspect of your life, then turning around and using it to manipulate your behavior?