Americans are well aware that foreign malicious actors continually collect our personal data through various schemes and scams with the goal of defrauding as many victims as possible. .
We expect our governments to protect us from such risks – to protect the privacy of our data and to hold accountable those who seek to harm us. .
But unfortunately, many states sold us out — literally, in fact.
government Our agents sell our personal data without our consent.
In our state of Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) collected the data of its customers (all unwitting Hoosiers who are required to provide their personal information to government agencies) and sold it to various third-party entities.
It was a good deal for BMV.
The agency collected $26 million from this practice in 2023 alone.
Over the past decade, the state has collected more than $250 million from BMVs that sell customers' personal information. And most Hoosiers didn't know that.
As Indiana's Attorney General, I was proud to take on criminals who profit from identity theft and data breaches. I have filed civil lawsuits against many private companies. That includes his lawsuit against Equifax over a data breach that affected 3.9 million Hoosiers.we Settled with Equifax for approximately $20 million.
The sale of non-public personal data by the government is a grave breach of trust. We're only now learning exactly how much governments have been profiting from our data over the years, and the reality is becoming more surprising every day.
In several recent talks, I addressed the BMV racket. Viewers are initially shocked, then angered by the prospect of states selling off their data so freely.
How is this different from a private company data breach that puts millions of Americans at risk? Once this personal information is sold and leaves the government's hands, what happens to it and where does it go? We are not responsible for this.
At a time when national security threats are at an all-time high and artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to maliciously manipulate the truth, Americans have the right to know that their government is protecting them. There is. And they certainly deserve to know that the government is not actively making things worse just to make money.
Your privacy and peace of mind should not be sold. You and your family should not be put at greater risk by the reckless and inconsiderate policies of state institutions.
In Indiana, a Republican governor and Republican-led General Assembly are ignoring the privacy interests of hardworking Hoosiers. They are addicted to dollar signs and the prospect of how much money they can make by sticking them to the people they are supposed to serve.
This is not an issue that Republicans should surrender to their political opponents. We shouldn't leave it to big government Democrats to write legislation to stop the government from misusing personal data.
I'm running for governor, and on my first day in office, I intend to sign an executive order prohibiting the Department of Transportation and all other state agencies from selling Hoosiers' personal personal data without their consent.
Other countries must follow suit. Otherwise, our national security will be at even greater risk.
It's time for the fox to be relieved of the task of guarding the chicken coop.
Curtis Hill is the 43rd Attorney General of Indiana and is currently the Republican candidate for Governor of Indiana.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.