Protecting the Privacy of Maryland Drivers

ICE uses the personal information of Maryland drivers to target and deport immigrants without any oversight or accountability. The Maryland legislature needs to limit data sharing between ICE and local agencies – to ensure that the privacy of all drivers are protected.

In 2013, the Maryland legislature voted to extend driving privileges to every qualified person regardless of immigration status. The purpose of that law was to ensure that everyone who needs to drive, in order to live their lives and take care of their families, can do so in a legal and regulated way – so that no one would end up in immigration court because they were forced to drive without a license.

Since then, research from several organizations including the Center on Privacy and Technology at the Georgetown Law Center has exposed rampant data sharing between the MVA and ICE. ICE has been targeting states like Maryland that have extended driving privileges to undocumented immigrants. ICE has been detaining and deporting residents in states like Maryland with laws that were meant to increase community safety.

Without any oversight or monitoring, ICE can log into Maryland’s law enforcement database and conduct wide ranging searches of MVA records, looking through information about anyone who applies for a Maryland driver’s license. ICE can search for names, birthdates, addresses, and can even run facial recognition searches on MVA license photos.