NAPO Briefings on Capitol Hill - Driver's Privacy Protection ActSeptember 23, 2013
Over the past two weeks, NAPO has continued its efforts to modify the recent amendment to the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) by meeting with staffers who work for the following members of Congress: Congressman Richard Nugent (R-FL), Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL), Congressman Bill Young (R-FL), and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL).
The DPPA requires state motor vehicle departments to receive permission from individuals before their personal motor vehicle record may be sold or released. The DPPA amendment authorizes a private right of action for knowing violations, and a court may award damages in the amount of $2,500 for each time a record was accessed, as well as attorney fees and other litigation costs. Law enforcement officers are subject to these stringent punishments, even if they did not review files with criminal intent.
NAPO used each of the above meetings to stress the negative impacts of the recent DPPA amendment on the law enforcement community, and to propose modifications to the amendment. During meetings with staffers for Congressmen Posey and Young, NAPO included example cases of the negative impacts of the recent DPPA amendment on their districts. Moreover, NAPO had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Deutch’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Ellen McLaren, who was already well versed on the issue. (Congressman Deutch is a member of the House Judiciary Committee). During each of the meetings, NAPO stressed its commitment to helping with any efforts necessary to modify the amendment language.
Each of the staffers was receptive to our proposed language modifications to the DPPA amendment, which include adding a clause that explains that penalties will be applied only if persons access information with the specific intent to secure an economic benefit. Also, NAPO proposes removing the $2,500 penalty for a violation of this act, as well as adding a statement that explains there must be repeated disregard of this law for action to be taken. If the language is not modified, law enforcement officers will be subject to large fines, and even the loss of their licenses for de minimus actions.
In addition to the members of Congress noted above, NAPO has advocated for this issue to staffers who work for the following members of Congress:
- Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
- Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL)
- Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL)
- Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL)
- Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
- Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-FL)
- Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL)
- Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Today, NAPO is scheduled to provide a briefing on the DPPA amendment to Congresswoman Betty McCollum’s (D-MN) staff. NAPO plans introduce a case, which highlights the negative impact of the recent DPPA amendment on the Congresswoman’s district.
NAPO will continue to aggressively lobby members of Congress to gain support for our proposed language changes to the DPPA amendment, and provide regular status updates to our members.
If you have any questions about the DPPA, please contact Melissa Nee at: firstname.lastname@example.org.