COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
sold driving records of Ohioans for about $50,000 to a Florida
company developing a multistate crime database program, a
The program, called Matrix, lets states share information
and cross-reference the data with up to 20 billion records
in databases held by Seisint Inc., a company in Boca Raton.
Bureau of Motor Vehicles spokeswoman Julie Hinds told The
Columbus Dispatch that Seisint paid Ohio $50,073 between October
2002 and December 2003.
Hinds said the company signed an agreement not to misuse
Twelve states that had expressed interest or were involved
in the program have pulled out. Connecticut, Michigan, Florida
and Pennsylvania are still participating.
A spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, who supports
the system, said the information Ohio is sharing is already
available to law enforcement.
''There's nothing novel here. It's just the speed at which
it's done,'' said James V. Canepa, chief deputy attorney general.
The records include details on property, boats and Internet
domain names that people own, their address history, utility
connections, bankruptcies, liens and business filings, according
to an August report by the Georgia Office of Homeland Security.
The American Civil Liberties Union has complained that the
system, formally known as Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information
Exchange, could be used by state and federal investigators
to compile dossiers on people who have never been suspected
of a crime.
Seisint officials have said safeguards are built into the
system to prevent such abuses.
Ohio and other states have been given releases stating they
won't be liable for mistakes if data from the system contain
The ACLU has filed a number of public-records requests in
Ohio and other states to get more details.
''Accuracy on this seems to be poor at best,'' said Carrie
Davis, an attorney with the ACLU of Ohio. ``We have no idea
what these records are.''
Gov. Bob Taft is reviewing to what extent Ohio should be
involved. ''We are reviewing various legal issues and also
long-term cost implications,'' Taft spokesman Orest Holubec