Federal Communications Law Journal

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52 Federal Communications Law Journal 125 (1999)


The Driver's Privacy Protection Act, instituted in 1997, regulates the disclosure of personal information in motor vehicle records. New controversy surrounds it today as the U.S. Supreme Court evaluates the arguments presented in November 1999 regarding its constitutionality. A split among circuit courts, coupled with the tremendous growth in technology and subsequent new in-roads for information access, draw increased attention toward the Act. The concern for information access in light of the Act, however, reaches beyond the courts' elucidated concerns about dual sovereignty and the public's right to privacy. This Note argues that there is a forgotten argument: the Act's effect on the First Amendment. This issue should not only be considered as a serious factor, but scrutinized carefully within the discussion surrounding the Act's constitutionality, especially since the Act's ramifications now have spread into virtually every corner of the news-gathering process.