Georgia drivers' personal data may be headed for database

| 10/22/2003

Georgia may turn over a massive amount of personal data on its citizens to a private company as part of a project designed to aid law enforcement, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The information would become part of Matrix, a multistate project that has drawn praise from many in law enforcement and criticism from privacy advocates. The system combines a huge amount of information on every person who holds a driver’s license, including current and past address, telephone numbers, car information, known associates and neighbors, speeding tickets, even marriages and divorces.

Law-enforcement officials told the newspaper that all the information is available to police now, just not in one place where it can be easily searched.

The Matrix system is operated by a private firm called Seisint, which also will be charged with keeping track of who sees the information. The newspaper reported earlier this month that Georgia had committed to taking part in the project, even though several other states had backed out over privacy concerns.