Departments of Motor Vehicles in states around the country are taking drivers’ personal information and selling it to thousands of businesses, including private investigators who spy on people for a profit, Motherboard has learned. DMVs sell the data for an array of approved purposes, such as to insurance or tow companies, but some of them have sold to more nefarious businesses as well. Multiple states have made tens of millions of dollars a year selling data.
…The Virginia DMV has sold data to 109 private investigator firms, according to a spreadsheet obtained by Motherboard.
That is from Vice, via Jake Seliger, with much more at the link.
On the topic of privacy, increasingly I am starting to believe that the practice of the obituary is unethical. The dead person is already gone, and usually (not always) there is little at stake, other than satisfying reader curiosity. The newspaper collects information on you for years, and without any consent from you whatsoever. Then, right after what is the saddest day in the history of your family (you hope), they publish it all and distribute it to as many readers as possible. That is also when you have no opportunity to present a rebuttal or alternative perspective, and furthermore corrections to obituaries are not exactly widely read.
Surely all of those worried about Facebook and privacy will agree with me on this one, right? And I bet the newspapers will pick up on this crusade as well.