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Lawmakers discuss making records less accesible

January 24, 2000
By: Danel Aguirre
State Capital Bureau
Links: SB 538, SB 565 & SB 566

JEFFERSON CITY - A Senate committee was urged Monday to close off public access to personal information contained in the state's auto registration and driver's license records.

Heard by the Senate Governmental Organization Committee were proposals by Republican Sens. John Russell and Larry Rohrbach.

One would close access to personal information in the records -- such as weight -- unless the person explicitly approved releasing the information. Under current law, personal information is available unless a person chooses to make the information confidential when filling out a registration form.

The other proposal would prohibit bulk sale of driver's license or motor vehicle records to companies, which some exceptions. That effectively would stop use of the information for commercial purposes such as junk mail or telemarketing phone calls.

The two senators said the proposed bills would answer the concern of Missourians who are not comfortable with the idea of their personal information being used without their own consent.

A representative of the American Association of Retired People testified in support of the proposal.

A lobbyist for the publishing company R.L. Polk told the committee that his firm uses the record information to help develop databases for functions such as auto recall notices and marketing research that did not invade privacy.

The committee took no immediate action on the proposal.