Road Test Data
From 2011-2012, MnDOT conducted the “Minnesota Road Test,” a mileage-based user fee study involving paid participants who affixed GPS tracking devices to their automobiles. These devices are being tested by the agency in order to determine their suitability for gathering road-use data, in order to charge individualized fees based upon travel usage.

Data classification prior to Session
At the time the Session convened, a temporary classification was in force, which classified most of the data associated with the Road Test program as “private” or otherwise “not public,” including the names of road test participants.

MNCOGI position
MNCOGI testified that the names of Road Test participants should be converted to “public” data, so that members of the press could contact participants about their experience with the test.

Bills
SF 800 proposed to change the temporary “private” classification of road test data into a permanent “private” classification. HF 798 sought the same change.

Procedural history
SF 800 was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee. In response to MNCOGI testimony regarding press access to participant names, MnDOT testified that the agency had allowed journalists to obtain the names of select participants in once instance. MNCOGI testified that state agencies should not generally be the arbiters of access to data that sheds light on the operation of programs that the public has an interest in reviewing. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SF 800, and referred it to the Senate floor for action. SF 800 was ultimately added to the Omnibus Data Practices bill.

In the House, Representative Holberg suggested that Road Test data should be destroyed, rather than kept private. MnDOT agreed, and a provision was ultimately added to the Data Practices Omnibus bill that provided for such destruction.

Outcome
Road Test user data was destroyed no later than July 31, 2013.

Documents

SF 800
• HF 798
Agenda of Senate Judiciary Committee, March 18, 2013
MNCOGI testimony regarding SF 800