Privacy changes in store for FasTrak

FasTrak users concerned with the government having too much access to their personal records will be bolstered by new safeguards set to take effect Jan. 1.

Drivers who register for FasTrak transponders, which allow motorists to bypass paying cash at toll plazas, must provide a variety of personal information, including a credit card number, e-mail address and phone number. The data, along with travel information recorded every time the vehicle passes a toll, are collected by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

While the MTC does not provide personal information to third-party groups, the organization is tightening up security protocols to comply with new state legislation.

Starting next year, the MTC will destroy personal information after a person’s FasTrak account has been inactive for four years and six months. The agency will work to better inform customers that their information is protected, scout for security breaches and ensure compliance with privacy regulations.

New policies will be in place by the new year, MTC spokesman John Goodwin said.

“We’ve always taken protecting privacy very seriously,” he said. “This makes the safeguards we already have in place more explicit.”

State Sen. Joe Simitian passed the privacy legislation early this year. He said he was motivated to respond to the government’s shortcomings in protecting personal information. In some cases, divorce lawyers used data gathered by FasTrak recordings to prove instances of infidelity.

The MTC plans to expand its privacy upgrades to public transit users registered with the agency. Clipper, the regional fare-payment card, also is managed by the MTC. Goodwin said Clipper users — who provide the same personal information as FasTrak customers — will be covered by the MTC’s new privacy policy. 

There are about 1 million FasTrak accounts in the Bay Area, according to the MTC.

Bay Area NewsbridgesdriversLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Outdoor dining, as seen here at Mama’s on Washington Square in North Beach in September, is expected to resume in San Franisco this week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF to reopen outdoor dining, personal services

San Francisco will allow outdoor dining and other limited business activity to… Continue reading

Patients line up in their cars to receive a shot at The City’s first mass COVID-19 vaccination site at City College of San Francisco on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Legislation would require SF to create a public COVID-19 vaccine plan — fast

San Francisco’s Department of Public Health would have to come up with… Continue reading

Ian Jameson (center) organized a group of tenant rights activists and assembled at the El Monte City Hall to demand that the City Council there pass an eviction moratorium barring all evictions during the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
California would extend eviction protections to June 30 under proposal

Legislation released Monday would also subsidize rent for low-income tenants

A statue of Florence Nightingale outside the Laguna Honda Hospital is one of only two statues of women in The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
S.F. still falling short of goal to represent women in public art

City has few streets or public facilities not named after men

Comedian and actor Bob Odenkirk is among the dozens of performers in Festpocalypse, streaming this weekend to benefit SF Sketchfest. (Courtesy photo)
Bob Odenkirk joins star-studded Festpocalypse gang

Virtual comedy benefit replaces SF Sketchfest this year

Most Read