Department of Revenue Stops Scanning Sensitive Information
JEFFERSON CITY - On Monday, July 1, Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill which would require the Department of Revenue to stop scanning documents containing personal information when Missourians' go to obtain a license, effective immediately.
Nixon signed the bill Monday afternoon, after Monday morning the Missouri House of Representatives announced the department would stop the practice.
Speaker of the House, Rep. Tim Jones, R-Eureka, gave a statement on the development:
"While the department has yet to provide adequate answers regarding why so many Missourians' private information was put at risk in the first place, their decision to finally put an end to most scanning shows that the legislature's hard work to protect Missourians' privacy is having a significant impact," Jones said. "While this is a good step forward, there is still more work to be done."
This year the department came under fire after it came to light license officers were scanning personal documents when Missourians went to obtain licenses. The scanned documents, or "source documents," were then sent to a central database.
Republican lawmakers worried this database put Missourians' privacy in danger. They launched an investigation, scheduled numerous hearings, and proposed multiple bills aimed at getting answers from the department. This activity filled 2013's legislative session.
In one of the many hearings, John Mollenkamp, the department's executive director, said the new data collection procedure was needed to prevent fraud. He said sending all of the data to a central clearinghouse added a layer of protection against potential inside cases of fraud.