A state lawmaker says legislation meant to stop the Revenue Department from scanning and keeping Missourians’ information misses the larger mark.
The House has given initial approval to HB 787, a bill to stop the Revenue Department from scanning and keeping copies of personal information from driver’s license and concealed carry permit applicants.
Representative Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) says there is a bigger target.
“The State of Missouri, because the General Assembly told the Department of Revenue to do so, sells our information every day in the private sector to … count them, folks, and I have … 4,700 different buyers.”
Kelly says what is sold is all information from Missouri driver’s license holders. He describes its buyers as “Peggys.”
“Remember the TV commercial where the guy’s calling about his credit card problem and the Eastern European person on the phone says, ‘Hello, this is Peggy?’ … That’s who’s getting this information: Peggy.”
During debate of HB 787 on the floor Kelly criticizes the sponsor, Representative Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff), saying he and other supporters overplay the significance of the legislation.
“We are selling [personal information] to 4,700 Peggys and you folks are trying to deceive yourselves and the people into the fact that we’re doing something about privacy … This year and in 2011 I sponsored a bill to kill [that selling of information]. Nobody wanted to hear it because the lobbyists didn’t want it. You guys didn’t want privacy then, you don’t want privacy now.”
Richardson defends his legislation to Kelly.
“The Department’s new policy is increasing the risk of an invasion of privacy, and that’s what we’re stopping.”
Kelly says he agrees with Richardson on that point and supports HB 787.
AUDIO: Hear Kelly and Richardson from floor debate, 6:10