MINNEAPOLIS - A state representative has asked Minnesota's legislative auditor to investigate a data privacy breach at the Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR announced earlier this week that an employee accessed the drivers' or motor vehicle records of about 5,000 Minnesotans without authorization. The DNR says that employee is no longer with the agency, and that it found no evidence that the data was sold, disclosed to others or used for criminal purposes.
Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, says in a letter to Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles that it would be prudent for him to investigate anyway.
Officials haven't said why the former employee accessed the records.
The DNR sent letters this week to the 5,000 affected Minnesotans. They include several journalists and lawyers, including a handful of current and former reporters for KARE 11. At this point it is unclear why their records were accessed.
The DNR released this statement Friday afternoon: "The DNR takes the unauthorized access to Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) data very seriously. The agency asked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to conduct an investigation into this incident. The DNR also conducted its own investigation. These investigations did not indicate the data was sold, disclosed to others or used for any criminal purposes. The investigations indicate the data was only viewed, nothing more. The DNR sent 5,000 letters to those affected as a precaution to let them know the data was viewed. Because the criminal investigation is ongoing and the internal process has not reached final disposition I'm unable to say much more."
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