Earlier this year, I discussed the case of Anne Rasmusson in Minnesota. In that state, 104 officers from 18 agencies accessed her “driver’s license record 425 times in what could be one of the largest private data breaches by law enforcement in history,” Citypages reported. Now, the StarTribune reports that Rasmusson is about to get a settlement over the privacy issue:
A former cop who accused officers across the metro of snooping into her driver’s license file is poised to garner about $665,000 in settlements from Twin Cities municipalities.
The payments represent a victory for Anne Rasmusson, a one-time St. Paul and Eden Prairie officer who is pursuing the state’s most expansive lawsuit relating to misuse of driver and vehicle services data. She claims cops routinely looked at her DVS file, which includes photographs, addresses, physical descriptions, driving records and other personal information. […]
Rasmusson recently named more than 140 officers she believes accessed her file without an official purpose, 61 of whom are St. Paul Police Department employees. Her suit also targeted a host of suburban cities, from Burnsville to Eagan, though those claims were dismissed Monday. Remaining defendants include Minneapolis and the state’s current and former public safety commissioners.
In the proposed settlement, St. Paul does not admit any wrongdoing but agrees to remove Rasmusson’s name, picture, address and any other personal information from the city and police department’s internal directory, intranet and website. […]
Rasmusson’s legal team is also scheduled to have a settlement conference with the city of Minneapolis Oct. 25.
Records held by the Department of Public Safety show that about 160 individuals, almost all government employees, have misused DVS data in the past two years. The database has about 21,500 active users. Some of those caught snooping have lost their jobs, others have been reprimanded and some have merely lost their database access.