Rep. McDermed Wants the Illinois Tollway to Stop Oversharing

Springfield, IL… In an effort to protect individual privacy, State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) recently filed legislation to prevent the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority from frivolously giving out personal information.

“There are some serious privacy issues that need to be addressed at the Tollway,” Rep McDermed said. “The tollway responding to a subpoena for information relating to a person’s movements is one thing, but readily handing over other personal information is another.”

Last fall a WBEZ report by Tony Arnold outlined how careless the Illinois Tollway is with personal information and how that information can be abused by civil suit lawyers, divorce attorneys, and even stalkers. The report noted how in once such troubling case, despite an order of protection in place, a woman’s ex-boyfriend was able to open a court case, unbeknownst to the woman, and obtain her new cell phone number, email address, credit card, license plate, and I-Pass transponder records from the Illinois Tollway.

Rep. McDermed’s legislation, House Bill 4006, would prohibit the Tollway from releasing personally identifiable information, except to a law enforcement agency with a search warrant. The Tollway must notify a person within 5 days that their information has been obtained and must provide them with the name of the law enforcement agency and a copy of the search warrant.

“The Toll Authority amasses all kinds of data from its customers and their concern is to collect tolls, not to protect customer data,” Rep. McDermed continued. “It’s up to us in the legislature to act to protect their privacy.”

Rep. McDermed anticipates a hearty debate on the bill from both trial lawyers and privacy advocates when the legislature returns to Springfield on January 28th.