The DeVarys were unwitting victims of one of the most widespread cases of data abuse in Minnesota’s history. A state audit found that fully half of the state’s law enforcement employees were likely accessing state databases for questionable reasons. And Hilary DeVary is the 10th person to file a federal suit over misuse of driver’s license data it in just over a year.
“We have paid out tens of millions in the last five years because representatives of government that have illegally searched data,” said John Lesch, a state representative from the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
But Lesch’s greatest concern is a different form of data that law enforcement has begun collecting across the country that has far more potential for abuse. It’s gathered by license plate readers, or ALPRs.
“This technology allowed law enforcement to do something completely different,” Lesch explained, “which is essentially dragnet the entire population.”