DNR says former employee improperly used driver’s license data

A Department of Natural Resources employee made unauthorized use of state driver’s license and motor vehicle records and the DNR says it’s asked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to investigate; 5,000 people may be affected.

No charges have been filed. The DNR said the employee involved in the unauthorized data access no longer works for the agency.

Data security is a growing issue here and around the country. Companies and governments have struggled to keep data on customers and taxpayers secure.

Five years ago, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety disciplined employees for improperly viewing information in the state driver’s license database.

Last fall, a former Eden Prairie and St. Paul police officer sued more than a dozen local governments alleging police officers illegally accessed her state drivers license and vehicle information.

In the incident it detailed today, the DNR wrote:

The database is maintained by Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS). The DVS records that were viewed include information such as full name, date of birth, driver’s license number, address, driver’s license status and driver’s license photo.

The investigation did not indicate that the viewed data was sold, disclosed to others, or used for criminal purposes.

However, the DNR is sending notification letters to approximately 5,000 affected individuals to make them aware of the unauthorized access. The agency is also recommending that those individuals monitor their credit reports.

The DNR has set up an email and phone to address questions and concerns for those who receive the letters. The email is infosecurity.dnr@state.mn.us. The phone number is 651-259-5309.

The agency said it reported the unauthorized data access to the three main credit reporting agencies, as required by state law.