Driver's Privacy Protection Act Of 1994

Created by Laura Biber on March 24, 2016 1051

The Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) of 1994 restricts the release and use of personal information from state motor vehicle records. Personal information can be released if the state obtains the express consent of the individual or if the use of the information qualifies under one of the 14 permissible uses listed in § 2721(b). 

Included in personal information under the DPPA are photographs, social security numbers, driver's license numbers, names, addresses (five digit zip codes are not protected by DPPA), telephone numbers, and medical/disability information. It is important to note that DPPA does not protect information about the status of a person's driver's license, vehicular accidents, and driving violations.  State laws may supplement DPPA, but DPPA serves as the minimum privacy baseline for the protection of driver's information.

DPPA provides that a lawsuit may be brought against any party that knowingly obtains, discloses, or use the information for a use not permitted under DPPA. DPPA also imposes criminal fines for non-compliance.

Congress amended the DPPA in 1999 via the Shelby Amendment to require an "opt in" instead of an "opt out." Prior to this amendment, drivers had to opt out of consent for their information to be sold or released to third party marketers. This amendment requires that drivers affirmatively opt in prior to their information being released.

Written by Laura Biber on April 24, 2016 0 1439
View all explanation (1)

Supporting Authority

Reno v. Condon, 528 U.S. 141 (2000)
Link to Supporting Resource

The Supreme Court held that the DPPA did not violate federalism principles and that it was a proper exercise of Congress' power under the commerce clause. The state of South Carolina had challenged the DPPA on the grounds that it forced sovereign states to regulate their own citizens. A unanimous Supreme Court disagreed, holding that DPPA did not require state legislatures to enact any laws or regulations and that the DPPA did not regulate the states exclusively.

Created by Laura Biber on March 31, 2016 0 1520

Maracich v. Spears, 133 S. Ct. 2191 (2013)
Link to Supporting Resource

The Supreme Court held that the permissible use of information for litigation under DPPA does not extend to attorney's solicitation of new clients. The Court held that solicitation was an act distinct from litigation and therefore did not fall under a permissible use of information.

Created by Laura Biber on March 31, 2016 0 1518

STATUTES, RULES, REGULATIONS (1) SHOW ALL ADD STATUTES

Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (18 U.S.C. §§ 2721 et seq.)
Link to Supporting Resource

These sections contain the information on the prohibition of the use of certain personal information, the 14 permissible uses of driver's information (§ 2721(b)), and examples of what is considered personal information (§ 2725) under the DPPA.

Created by Laura Biber on March 24, 2016 0 1474
Widening The Lane: An Argument For Broader Interpretation Of Permissible Uses Under The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act
Link to Supporting Resource

The article recounts the history of the DPPA and reviews the permissible uses of information under the DPPA. The author argues that limitations imposed on permissible uses through recent cases are contrary to the legislative intent and practical considerations of the VPPA. The author argues that even if these restrictions on permissible uses are necessary, they should come from the legislature, not via judicial interpretation.

Created by Laura Biber on April 24, 2016 0 1470

That’s The Ticket: Arguing For A Narrower Interpretation Of The Exceptions Clause In The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act
Link to Supporting Resource

In this article, the author focuses on the interpretations of the exceptions listed in the DPPA. The author argues that the federal courts have frustrated the purpose of the DPPA by construing the language of the Act "in favor of public and private entities that claim to be disclosing and using private information pursuant to the enumerated exceptions, and against the drivers whose privacy and safety the Act was created to protect."


Created by Laura Biber on April 23, 2016 0 1476