New lawsuit filed over Minn. driver’s license data

Published 5:43 pm Saturday, February 16, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Another lawsuit has been filed alleging that Minnesota government employees misused driver’s license data.

At least nine federal lawsuits have been filed in the last year relating to misuse of the driver and vehicle services, or DVS, database. All but one target government entities and four are related to a recent breach.

The most recent lawsuit was filed by law firm Farrish Johnson, according to the Star Tribune. It was on behalf of a man whose record was allegedly among 1,100 queried by an unnamed employee at the Minnesota Department of Human Services over 11 months, largely without an authorized purpose.

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The suit is seeking class-action status. The Mankato-based firm has two other DVS lawsuits also seeking class-action status.

The state’s legislative auditor is expected to release a report this coming week on the database that will likely to shape legislation to curb misuse. The database contains photographs, addresses and driving records on Minnesota residents with a license.

Law firms have been aggressively pursuing litigation, ever since a former St. Paul police officer won more than $1 million in settlements from local governments stemming from a DVS lawsuit. Former officer Anne Marie Rasmusson has demanded in a settlement with the state that it perform better audits and training relating to the database.

The database is protected by state and federal law against unauthorized use.