While motor vehicle records provide a valuable resource for marketing research and data analytics, our industry's ability to access them in New York state has been restricted. We hope to change that.

Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-59) has introduced S. 2584, a bill to clarify access to motor vehicle records in New York. It would correct a deficiency in current law unintentionally impairing some valid federally-approved uses of such records available in more than forty states. S. 2584 maintains privacy protections while allowing for appropriate research use of data by entities contracting with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as other uses like battling insurance fraud, assistance to law enforcement and aiding car manufacturers with sales verification and parts distribution.

Current law only allows for record use for "(i) issuance of manufacturer's warranty, safety recall or similar notices, or (ii) statistical complications."

By contrast, S. 2584 would allow for several more uses already allowed by federal law, including: "(ii) for use in connection with … performance monitoring of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and dealers; motor vehicle market research activities, including survey research…" and "(v) for use in research activities, and for use in producing statistical reports, so long as the contracting party does not publish, redisclose or use personal information to contact individuals."

In so doing, S. 2584 would allow New York residents similar protections against fraud as those in most other states, prevent likely increases in automobile-related products and services, and improve the decision-making capabilities of companies, organizations and government agencies, not to mention allow for marketing research uses of such data as is common in most states. That is why we helped to craft the original federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act in 1994, and why now the Insights Association, the premier nonprofit association representing the marketing research and analytics industry, endorses S. 2584 and urges New York to pass this legislation promptly.

UPDATE: S. 1584 faces some hurdles to passage. (IA members only)