DMV Database

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan
VT AG T.J. Donovan/Facebook

Vermont was one of a few states cited by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology that allowed the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other federal law enforcement agencies access to its Department of Motor Vehicle facial recognition software. That’s according to the New York Times and the Washington Post. In 2017, Vermont’s governor ordered the DMV to stop sharing the information after state Attorney General T.J. Donovan determined the practice violated state law.  In the second part of our interview with Donovan, he explains to WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that while the state has suspended sharing biometric data, it still collaborates with federal agencies and law enforcement on a number of issues.

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan
VT AG T.J. Donovan/Facebook

Reporting by the New York Times and the Washington Post this week review a study by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology that assessed how federal law enforcement agencies accessed state motor vehicle facial recognition databases.  Among the states that provided information was Vermont, which provides a driver’s privilege card to undocumented workers in the state.  Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan says his office became aware of the practice in early 2017. After researching, they found it was a violation of state law and Governor Phil Scott ordered the DMV to stop sharing information with federal agencies.  Donovan, a Democrat, tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that sharing the facial recognition database has been suspended since 2017.