INDIANAPOLIS— The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is expected to bring in nearly $26 million this year from selling your personal information, according to a newly released report.
As WRTV Investigates uncovered earlier this year, the Indiana BMV does not have to tell you it’s selling your data and the practice is legal.
Prompted by our investigative reporting, a new state law requires the BMV to disclose how it’s spending the money generated from driver data sales.
On December 1, the BMV released a 5-page report, which can be viewed at the bottom of this article, which shows data sales are projected to bring in $15,543,076 to the BMV and $10,109,337 to the Indiana Office of technology in 2023.
“I think the totals were a bit higher than I was expecting,” said Scott Shackelford, a cybersecurity expert and professor of business law and ethics at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. “This is a fair amount of money.”
The $26 million is on top of the $237 million dollars collected over the last 10 years (2012-2022) from selling driver information.
As WRTV Investigates uncovered, the BMV is selling personal information like your name, date of birth, address, past addresses, odometer reading, what kind of car you drive, and your license plate number.
Here’s some examples of which entities can buy it:
- Auto Dealer
- Bail Bond
- Debt Collection Company
- Insurance Agent
- Insurance Company
- Mobile Home Parks
- Private Investigator
- Recovery Agent
- School Corporations
- Security Guard
- Sheriff and Police Departments
- Tow Company
"The concern when your private information is shared with 3rd parties is there's really no safeguards,” said Shackelford. “There's no way to know what happens after that. The internet is written in ink after all. So, when your information is out there, it's out there."
The BMV’s new report breaks down how it spends the money generated from driver data sales:
- Upgrading E-lien and E-title
- Maintain and upgrade STARS Branch System (computer system)
- Operation of the IN.gov web portal
BMV Branch Expenditures
- Salaries for branch employees
- Lease/rent payments
- Utility charges
- Credential production costs
- Credit card processing fees
"No doubt these are very worthy causes,” said Shackelford. “Is there a better and perhaps more transparent mechanism to get these agencies the funding they need for these purposes besides having it done on the back of unsuspecting Hoosiers?"
The BMV declined our requests to speak with someone on camera about the report.
Rep. Greg Porter, D-Indianapolis, authored the legislation requiring the BMV to issue a report on how it’s spending the money generated from driver data sales.
"The public needs to know," said Porter.
Porter said while the BMV fulfilled its requirement by submitting a report, he plans to request even more detail from the agency.
"It's important that we continue to circle the opportunity to protect citizens,” said Porter.
WRTV Investigates asked what Porter had to say to people who want to opt out of having their data sold.
“Stay tuned,” said Porter. “We are going to continue to look at legislation and see how we can get individuals to be able to opt out."
Indiana just passed into law a new consumer data protection act, however, it does not take effect until 2026 and it is not expected to prevent the BMV from selling your information.