A federal judge has dismissed class action claims filed against state agencies and officials by people who say their driver's license records were improperly accessed. The Department of Natural Resources disclosed in January that a former employee had accessed the private motor vehicle records of more than 5,000 people.
The DNR said John Hunt had looked at records about 19,000 times over five years without a legitimate reason.
In February, a legislative auditor's report found widespread abuse of Department of Vehicle Services' and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension databases by employees.
The people who brought civil suits argued that officials with the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety and Natural Resources failed to implement systems to adequately protect residents' private data.
In her decision, U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen said the suits did not make the case that the employee should have been denied access to the records.