Data breach adds to DMV’s woes

 

After a long unpleasant summer of coping with frustrated customers and ungodly long lines out the door, the California Department of Motor Vehicles is now dealing the dark days of autumn. The DMV announced this week that there has been a data breach involving the personal Social Security data of 3,200 people with driver’s licenses.

The breach, discovered in early August, is the latest blow to a statewide agency that most Californians are both forced to deal with and often loath to deal with.

“The DMV recently discovered that, for at least the last four years, seven government entities received Social Security number information inappropriately for approximately 3,200 individuals,” said DMV spokeswoman Anita Gore. “Protection of personal information is important to the DMV, and we have taken additional steps to correct this error, protect this information and reaffirm our serious commitment to protect the privacy rights of all license holders.

“That’s why the DMV immediately began correcting the access error following a legal compliance review, ensured that no additional confidential information was disclosed to these entities, and has implemented several additional layers of review – including review and signoff by DMV Chief Legal Counsel – for any requester seeking new access to SSN information.”

Gore added that “the disclosure of this information by the DMV did not involve hacking or sharing information with private individuals or entities.”

The DMV was not the only agency affected. The Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, and district attorneys in San Diego and Santa Clara counties were also hit. In the case of the motor-vehicle breach, notices were sent out to drivers whose Social Security information was accessed. Once the breach was discovered, Gore said access to the information was cut off.

Meanwhile in Twitterland, the breach has inspired the public to once again go after one of Californians’ favorite governmental punching bags.

And, yes, people do have plenty of good reasons to hate the DMV, starting with the long lines that come from an over-stressed workforce trying to keep up Real ID applications on top of all the other services offered at its branches. The queues got so bad earlier this year that startups like YoGov stepped in, offering to sell people appointments a few weeks ago for a cost of $25. Lawmakers decided that that practice was only making matters worse, and last month Gov. Newsom signed a new law to crack down on companies selling something that the DMV offers free of charge.

In addition to the long lines at branches, many Californians have experienced the hell of trying to get DMV help over the phone.

And now, with the data breach, many are wondering whether the DMV has adequate measures in place to protect user data.

DMV customers were bracing for more pain in the wake of the breach.

Not every single California, of course, is fed up with the DMV.

 

Source: mercurynews
Data breach adds to DMV’s woes



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