Judge rules state not liable for snooping into records at DNR

  • Article by: Eric Roper , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 20, 2013 - 11:15 PM

A federal judge dismissed class action claims against the state regarding an employee who allegedly snooped into driver’s license information.

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teddygSep. 20, 1310:04 PM

So this judge is saying that employers don't have any liability when employees use employer equipment for illegal purposes during on-the-job hours? This is against 150 years of case law. Please appeal this ruling. Otherwise, all our privacy rights are out the door.

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mplsmumSep. 20, 1310:11 PM

Good. Not justifying the snooping, but I have yet to hear anyone allege actual harm. This shouldn't be a cash cow at taxpayer's expense. Looking at medical records, etc, is far different and contains far more private information than your stupid driver's license that you hand to the clerk at the gas station when you write a check.

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jd55604Sep. 20, 1310:22 PM

"Their motion to dismiss added that if the state were to be held liable for Hunt’s actions, state officials may be left with the impossible choice of either shutting down the database or running the risk of ruinous personal liability.”........State law says that each proven infraction will result in a $2500 penalty and now the court says that the state isn't required to obey its own law which was designed to thwart this behavior. The state hired these people, supervised their work, gave them access to these systems and the authority to use them. Don't tell me that these agencies are not responsible. If this was a small business or any non-government entity violating our privacy, the state would use its limitless resources to jail all those involved and put the company out of business. This ridiculous ruling will allow these agencies to continue their scummy behavior with no repercussions.

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donm251Sep. 20, 1311:15 PM

It looks to me that this decision is on its way to the MN Court of Appeals. If that fails Minnesota's crooked judicial system, it'll go onto SCOTUS.

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verdepatoSep. 21, 13 1:35 AM

what a shame and a sham

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ussforrestalSep. 21, 13 3:06 AM

Punitive action ought to be taken against the perp and the state, however awarding money to "victims" is a ridiculous notion. So somebody looked at your DL info, so what? Unless you suffered some kind of tangible injury as a result you have no right to get paid. This litigious society we have developed has become so ridiculous it really isn't funny any more.

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william16Sep. 21, 13 5:35 AM

At issue is a poorly written federal law which potentially puts local governments (i.e. taxpayers) on the hook, at $2,500 an alleged violation, for the illegal actions of individual employees, who are also acting in violation of their employer's rules. Unless the federal statute is revised to more clearly indicate personal liability (the true offender is the individual) and shield taxpayers from excessive lawsuits, judgments like these will become the norm.

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swampman210Sep. 21, 13 6:11 AM

So when will this same standard apply to the thousands of private databases??? There is where the truly damaging data lies. The DVS database is nothing more than a glorified telephone book with pictures. Does anyone really believe that financial and medical records are any better protected? For about the price of a tank of gas, anyone can find out the details of anyone's life on the internet and there is no outrage about that?

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DUSTYBSep. 21, 13 6:16 AM

A stupid law needs to be redone. firing any employee tht breaches the database sounds good to me.

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honeybooSep. 21, 13 7:27 AM

How about firing bureaucrats who get their jollies by creeping on taxpayers?

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