Minnesota driver’s license database audit finds little oversight - KMSP-TV

Driver’s license database audit finds millions of searches, little oversight

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Law enforcement made 3.8 million searches of Minnesota drivers' license data in 2012. A state audit of those searches has found poor training and a general lack of oversight across several departments.

The Office of Legislative Auditor released its findings Wednesday of an inquiry into searches of the Department of Public Safety database in 2012.

The audit was ordered prior to the firing of a DNR officer who illegally accessed thousands of driver's license records, mostly of women and local celebrities. That employee is now facing misdemeanor charges.

KEY FINDINGS OF THE AUDIT

- 3.8 million searches of Minnesota drivers' license data in 2012.

- The Department of Public Safety lacks adequate training for ALL law enforcement users of driver's license data.

- The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Driver and Vehicle Service both fall short in monitoring driver's license records to identify misuse.

- Neither the BCA nor DVS have a written policy for sanctions on driver's license data misuse.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The legislative auditor recommends Minnesota's police chiefs consider proactive audits of driver's license database use within their own departments.

It's also recommended DPS and police chiefs teach staff members about the "classification and allowed uses" of license data.

DPS Commissioner Romona Dohman says the agency also plans to change the data system.

"DVS is implementing a new driver and vehicle information system that includes identity-access management which will strengthen our oversight over appropriate access of data," she said.

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