MN seeks dismissal of suits over DNR data breach

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The state of Minnesota has asked a federal judge to dismiss lawsuits filed by people whose driver’s license data was accessed by a Department of Natural Resources employee.

The attorney general’s office argues in motions filed Tuesday that the state isn’t liable under a federal law that protects the privacy of driver’s license data. The law sets the minimum damages at $2,500 per violation.

The lawsuits name DNR and other state officials, as well as former DNR employee John Hunt, who was fired after officials said he inappropriately accessed the records of 5,000 Minnesotans.

The state argues that Congress crafted the law so narrowly that only Hunt could be held liable for the privacy breaches.

Judge Joan Erickson hears arguments on the motion July 11.

Hunt also faces criminal charges.

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