Minnesota DPS Admits Ignition Interlock GPS Tracking Data Is Public Information

This just keeps getting stranger …for those of you that are unaware, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) instructed all authorized Ignition Interlock vendors to install GPS tracking in their devices.  This major change to the Ignition Interlock program allows the government to track all movements of the program’s participants and was done solely by the DPS, without even consulting the legislature.

Recently,  a Hennepin County judge issued an injunction that prevented the DPS from enforcing this requirement, citing clear  constitutional issues with GPS tracking without a warrant.

It gets worse.  Today, in the Minnesota Lawyer (you may need a subscription to read the whole article) another piece of information came to light: the GPS tracking data is public information, obtainable by a simple Government Data Practices request.  Lawmakers were stunned to learn that a citizen can obtain GPS information of all Ignition Interlock drivers, or a specific individual.  The concerns raised ranged from stalking to vendors selling the GPS data to third parties.

Representative Peggy Scott, chair of the House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy committee, is now drafting a bill that would immediately stop all Ignition Interlock GPS tracking. Additionally, the bill would limit the DPS’s rule making ability to prevent something like this from ever happening again without legislative approval. We all learned as children what happens when trust is broken.