By Ashley Jost
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Following a lawsuit and restraining order filed in Stoddard County about local drivers license fee officers scanning personal documents, Rep. Jay Barnes, R-60, chairman of the Government Oversight and Accountability committee, announced Tuesday that the committee intends to investigate this report and others across the state.
According to the press release, Barnes stated that Missouri residents expect information they disclose to remain confidential, and during the digital age it’s vital for legislators to protect citizens from unlawful releases of information.
Rep. Todd Richardson, R-152, sponsored House Bill 787 Tuesday that aims to prohibit the Department of Revenue from scanning personal documents and transferring them to out-of-state databases.
“My legislation represents an important step we must take this session to protect the privacy of Missourians,” Richardson said. “We must prevent state agencies from violating the trust of our citizens by invading their privacy and sending their personal information to out-of-state entities.”
House Speaker Tim Jones, R-110, told The Missouri Times that he wasn’t sure what, if any, legislative assistance is needed in this situation. According to the press release, Jones intends to push Richardson’s bill to the Government Oversight and Accountability Committee as quickly as possible.
“This is a priority issue we want to address as expeditiously as possible,” Jones said in the release. “Missourians have an expectation that their personal information will remain private. We want to make certain their trust is not violated by any of our state agencies.”
The Missouri Times will continue to update readers as the story on the legislation, investigation and lawsuit as it develops.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.