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Local News

Illinois Tollway pushed back on McDermed's claims of data sharing

The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority pushed back on State Rep. Margo McDermed's characterizations of its data sharing practices.
The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority pushed back on State Rep. Margo McDermed's characterizations of its data sharing practices.

The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority pushed back after State Rep. Margo McDermed put out a press release in which she accused the agency of "frivolously giving out personal information."

"The Illinois Tollway works tirelessly to protect the information of our customers," Tollway spokeswoman Joelle McGinnis said in a statement. "Tollway leaders are already on the record saying that they are more than willing to work with the General Assembly on additional ways to protect customer information."

McGinnis said the Illinois Tollway does not release any data unless it is compelled to do so by a court of law, or an emergency situation with law enforcement. When faced with a subpoena, she added, the tollway, like all other state agencies, authorities and private or public entities, is obligated to turn over records in accordance with state law.

McGinnis added that each subpoena is handled by an attorney in the tollway's legal department which takes "great care" in handling customer information.

She also said the tollway does not share customer information with third parties unless compelled by a court order.

McDermed, R-Mokena, said in her release there were "serious privacy issues that need to be addressed at the Tollway." She cited a news media report which she said outlined how personal information "can be abused by civil suit lawyers, divorce attorneys, and even stalkers." In one instance, the report noted how a woman's ex-boyfriend opened a court case to obtain her personal information.

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