Sale of DMV Records Class Action Settled

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – A class action that an attorney claimed might bankrupt Missouri has been settled for $90,000. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey gave final approval last week to the settlement between Missouri drivers and The Source for Public Data and Shadowsoft.

     Plaintiffs claimed The Source for Public Data and Shadowsoft illegally obtained a database from the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles, with confidential information about Missouri drivers, and sold it to third parties, violating the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
     Ten employees of the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles were named as defendants. The state itself could not be sued.
     The settlement “requires the return of all personal information that is in the possession of Shadowsoft and Source for Public Data. It prevents further reselling of such information and greatly reduces the risk of identity theft and the illegal use of such information from Missouri drivers,” court papers state.
     The defendants will pay $90,000, to go toward attorney’s fees; of that, $3,000 will be split evenly between the two lead plaintiffs.
     The defendants have not admitted guilt as part of the settlement.
     Mitchell Burgess, an attorney for plaintiffs, told Courthouse News when the complaint was filed that it had the potential to bankrupt Missouri. He pointed out that federal law allows for damages of up to $2,500 a person. If 100,000 people were involved, damages could get as high as $250 million. Burgess told Courthouse News that the class could number in the millions.
     Both sides said they believe the settlement is reasonable.
     “The settlement provides immediate relief. It requires the return of all personal information that is in the possession of Shadowsoft and Source for Public Data. It prevents further reselling of such information and greatly reduces the risk of identity theft and the illegal use of such information from Missouri drivers.”

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