Proactive Response

Proactive Response

Meeting customer expectations while maintaining personal data security

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Expectations are shifting, and the DMV/public safety community is examining long-standing policies, procedures and requirements to keep the focus on saving lives, securing identities and meeting customers’ service demands.

Take online services for starters. Customers buy, return, send and receive goods at the touch of a screen, and often without leaving home. They expect the same of their governments, and DMVs are maximizing the capability of technology to meet this demand. The challenge? Balancing convenience with security. What’s the optimal level of authentication to ensure a customer’s personal data is protected while minimizing barriers to the customer’s positive experience? After all, we want customers to take advantage of online services for routine transactions. And among the changing expectations is the individual sense of ownership and control over personal data.

A couple of months separate the time I write this column and the time you read it. Yet in both windows of time, some hacker is pressuring a government system with ransomware, inside breach efforts or another form of malicious hacking. DMV and public safety agencies are working hard to get funding and IT support to modernize their systems to mitigate these risks. A great resource on this topic is the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO),, which offers resources on jurisdiction CIO priorities, data security, chief privacy officer assets and more.

AAMVA also has its eyes on this important topic with the Working Group on Managing Data Privacy and External Access, which is expected next year to recommend best practices to guide jurisdictions. In this issue of MOVE, AAMVA Chair Whitney Brewster makes a strong case for why data privacy must be a priority for agencies.

Another shifting expectation is the governmental policies introduced a few decades ago that leverage driver license status and vehicle registration to provide incentives to customers to satisfy overdue fees, fines, truancy or similar penalty. This practice has created a catch-22 for some, and national criminal justice reform has made it a target for change.

Last year, AAMVA issued Reducing Suspended Drivers and Alternative Reinstatement Best Practices, a helpful guide for jurisdictions that have initiated legislative and policy changes in this area. The Working Group found jurisdictions that eliminated non-safety suspension actions helped individuals regain their mobility in a safe and reasonable way, gave law enforcement back the resources they had dedicated to non-safety enforcement to focus on highway safety, and reduced the administrative burden on motor vehicle agencies. It’s a win-win-win that you can read more about in this issue of MOVE.

So yes, expectations for government services and data protection are changing at a rapid pace—and the AAMVA community is proactively responding.

Anne Ferro

AAMVA President and CEO

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