I-TEAM: Unauthorized searches made on confidential state database

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An area activist reached out to the I-TEAM, claiming his id had been compromised by cops throughout the state. He says due to what he does, he was searched via DAVID, a confidential Florida database that incorporates private info. To see if this was extra widespread, the I-TEAM submitted the names of a number of News4Jax staff to see who has searched their private info. 

There are 918 totally different state and native businesses in Florida with entry to DAVID, which stands for Driver and Car Info Database. Collectively, their hundreds of staff have entry to all your confidential info within the database. It has your driver’s license quantity, house handle, license plates, Social Safety quantity, driving historical past, emergency contact info and each driver’s license image you’ve gotten ever taken.

Due to all the private info it accommodates, Jeff Grey, a public data activist, turned involved when he discovered his info was accessed 200 occasions over a 5-yr interval. He found he was searched on DAVID by staff throughout the state, together with members of the FBI, the Division of Homeland Safety and the Secret Service.

“It is creepy,” stated Grey. “That is the phrase that involves thoughts is it is creepy.”

Grey says he feels violated, so the I-TEAM reached out to sources and discovered Grey could be very well-known to native regulation enforcement due to this YouTube channel referred to as “Images is just not a Crime.”

On it, Grey has an acute concentrate on the conduct of public officers, and he uploads movies of public officers he says aren’t obeying the legal guidelines.

“I would like individuals to know you have got a proper to movie public officers,” Grey added.

A few of the DAVID searches carried out on Grey included the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Workplace. We requested, and the Sheriff’s Workplace advised us their 34 searches of Grey are thought-about reputable.

After submitting a public grievance about his personal searches, Grey says he typically heard the identical rationalization, however he disagrees they have been authentic.

Whereas researching Grey’s considerations, we uncovered different abuses. The I-TEAM obtained a brand new inner audit by the town of Jacksonville and located a clerk of courts worker was disciplined for abusing DAVID. That employee accessed DAVID improperly 25 occasions on eight people together with a partner, siblings, a dad or mum, and even themselves.

The I-TEAM submitted an open data request to the company that oversees the database, the Florida Division of Freeway Security and Motor Automobiles. In that request, we included the names of our I-TEAM investigators in addition to a random pattern of News4Jax anchors, reporters and meteorologists. We waited months for outcomes, however once we obtained them, discovered a number of suspicious hits:

Anchor/reporter Ashley Mitchem was accessed repeatedly by the…

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