It has come to my attention recently that the Department of Revenue has been gathering and retaining personal information of Missourians at license offices. This topic was first discussed this week on the Senate floor during debate and has since received media attention.
Several constituents have informed lawmakers that the Department of Revenue asked for information they thought was unnecessary when they applied for certain permits or licensure.
It was learned that an outside contractor, which gathers the information and manufactures driver's licenses and gun permits, was supposed to delete the information once it was verified, but there was speculation that the information was either sold to outside vendors or turned over to the federal government under the guise of a grant from Homeland Security.
While the Department of Revenue has since denied the Homeland Security reference, it changed its answers several times about use of the grant funds, as well as the way it distributes the information gathered. To me, this is a flagrant violation of a state law we passed in 2009, and I feel this issue will be discussed again at a later date as more facts are revealed.
It concerns me deeply that our law-abiding citizens are placed at risk regarding their personal information, and it seems as though a department of the state is acting above the law on this issue. I feel we need to protect the privacy of our citizens and keep our personal security safe.
Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting my website at www.senate.mo.gov/brown.
Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.