Drivers in Virginia may not be aware that big brother is watching them.
The state government has been quietly collecting driver data from the Department of Motor Vehicles to create a database of residents, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Dubbed the e-ID initiative, the state enterprise database was created to help state agencies ferret out fraud and assist in helping residents conduct business with the state more easily.
Virginia DMV has the records of nearly six million licensed drivers and ID card holders. Some of that information - names, addresses, dates of birth, driver's license numbers - will form the core of the e-ID system..
State officials claim that the e-ID initiative will be limited in scope and access—during a time where there is growing concern in the U.S. about identity theft and government intrusion.
"It makes it easier to compromise your privacy," Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia said to the Times-Dispatch. "They're using DMV for some other purpose than driving."
Officials for the Virginia DMV counters claims of privacy invasion by pointing out that in modern times, driver’s licenses are the standard ID for most Americans and that participation in the e-ID system is voluntary.
Four state agencies are currently involved in Virginia's e-ID initiative: DMV; the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, which runs the state's IT systems; the Department of Social Services; and the Department of Medical Assistance Services.