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Red Light Cameras Exposed Thousands To Identity Theft
David Bloys News for Public Officials

If you've been caught on a red light camera lately, you may have more bad news on the way. Your private information may have been seen by identity thieves all over the world. That's what 8800 motorists who traveled through Savannah, Georgia learned last week.

Identity thieves have had easy access to the sensitive personal information on motorists who tripped the city's red light camera since last February.

A citizen noticed the problem when he searched for a name on Google and found the photos, name, date of birth, address and sometimes Social Security Numbers of ticket recipients  in the results.

Lawsuits Against Red Light and Traffic Cameras

  • Sioux Falls and Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. alleging city traffic cameras violate South Dakota state code. (Nov-21-06)

  • City of Davenport, IL alleging city traffic cameras violate Illinois state code. (Aug-30-06)
  • Baltimore City et al. alleging inadequate time on amber lights.
  • San Francisco Motorists Win $400,000 settlement in lawsuit claimed the systems are illegal because they are either operated by for-profit companies, or the company is paid a fee from any tickets issued.
  • Nationwide citizens are reacting to what some call an unethical and possibly illegal money making scheme on the part of municipalities and red light camera vendors. 
  • Click here for legal help and a free evaluation of your possible case

 

Red light cameras capture more than just a photo of you and your car when you pass under their view. The information is cross indexed with even more private information contained in the state's massive databases.

In the Savannah case, this private data was published on the Internet because the city web server failed to implement the most basic security measures.

Unfortunately, those pictures and video, along with personal information, was accessible to anyone who searched for them for a seven-month-long period. All available just by searching for someone's name through Google.

Despite the massive error, the city maintains that its computer systems, "currently have up-to-date security measures, devices, and software to protect confidential information."

Thousands of miles away, photo enforcement vendor Affiliated Computer Services is facing bribery charges involving attempts by ACS to land a $90-million twenty-year no-bid contract to operate photo radar and red light cameras for the city of Edmonton, Canada. Court documents suggest ACS offered more than just technical services to the city's officials.

According to a letter  the City of Savannah issued to the 8800 victims, "At this point we have no evidence that confidential information was read. downloaded or used in any manner. No one has reported any problems to the City of Savannah, or any other state or local authorities."

This statement offers little comfort to affected motorists who will have to watch over their shoulders for the rest of their lives.

According to a recent court case in Florida, a person whose driver's license information is exposed becomes a victim by the act of exposure even before the information is used for unlawful purposes.

In an important victory for privacy rights, Florida's 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that individuals suing under the Drivers Privacy Protection Act can qualify to receive monetary damages even if they did not suffer financial harm. 

In that case, the court ruled, "Damages for a violation of an individual's privacy are a quintessential example of damages that are uncertain and possibly unmeasurable.  To us, the plain meaning of the statue is clear -- a plaintiff need not prove actual damages to be awarded liquidated damages"

  Auto Insurance

In a similar case, hundreds of thousands of motorists in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Broward counties, Florida are due to receive a $50 million class-action settlement with Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust of West Palm Beach.

The bank ran afoul of a federal anti-stalking law, sparked by the 1989 murder of TV actress Rebecca Schaeffer in California, that makes it illegal for companies to buy driver records from state governments.

A group of attorneys who specialize in cases involving privacy breaches is offering free case evaluations over the Internet.

If you believe your personal information may have been breached by corporate or government agencies, please Click here for legal help and a free evaluation of your possible case  

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Police Face ACS Bribery Charges
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