Tollway Supports Measure to Notify Customers of Subpoenaed I-PASS Information, Hopes to Prevent Release in Future

As part of its ongoing effort to protect customers’ privacy, the Illinois Tollway supported legislation aimed at preventing the release of customer information, as well as the requirement to notify customers when their information is subpoenaed in a non-emergency or civil case.  
 
“We are committed to protecting the privacy of our customers, and we support any legislation that will help us achieve that goal,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “This legislation will help guide our agency in the handling of customer information related to court ordered subpoenas.”   
 
In recent years, lawmakers noted the Illinois Tollway’s legal obligation to comply with court-ordered subpoenas, and the opportunity for abuse of the Tollway’s transaction data within Illinois’ subpoena laws.  In response, the Illinois Tollway committed to working with lawmakers to develop better ways to protect customer information.  Notably, the Tollway backed a measure to prevent the mandatory release of customer information in civil case proceedings, while also supporting a measure guiding the agency’s response, and subsequent customer notification, in instances of subpoenas in civil court.  
 
In the end, a compromise emerged in Senate Bill 2235, which outlines the steps the Tollway should follow in response to court ordered civil subpoenas, including notifying an I-PASS customers within seven days that their transaction records have been subpoenaed as part of a court proceeding or police investigation.
 
Currently, no I-PASS records are released for any reason other than under a mandatory court order.  The Illinois Tollway does not sell data to third party providers, nor does the Tollway use customer data for any other reason than to ensure the enforcement of unpaid tolls and violations.  
 
State law currently bars the release of private I-PASS information without a valid subpoena or search warrant.
 
The Tollway worked with the General Assembly to ensure the measure complied with existing record retention laws as well as would not impede urgent matters related to law enforcement requiring a warrant or otherwise authorized by a judge.  The final measure is sponsored by State Sen. Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).
 
The pending legislation was approved by both chambers, but due to a technical change is awaiting a concurrence vote in the Illinois Senate. 

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