The US Supreme Court has decided to review Marachich v. Spears, a case concerning the Drivers' Privacy Protection Act. The federal privacy law prohibits the disclosure of personal information in state motor vehicle records, except under certain narrow circumstances. In 2000, several states challenged the law. EPIC argued in an amicus brief that "the Drivers Privacy Protection Act safeguards the personal information of licensed drivers from improper use or disclosure. It is a valid exercise of federal authority in that it seeks to protect a fundamental privacy interest." The Supreme Court upheld the law. More recently, EPIC has argued that resellers of driver records should be strictly liable for violations of the law. At issue in the Marachich case is whether records can be disclosed to facilitate attorney solicitations. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the law permits solicitations under the "litigation" exception. For more information, see EPIC: The Drivers' Privacy Protection Act and EPIC: Gordon v. Softech.
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Communications Law and Policy
Jerry Kang and Alan Butler