The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) is coming under fire for its alleged request for illegal access to consumer bank accounts.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is accusing the state’s department of wanting highway troopers to use electronic card readers in order to seize or freeze funds of citizens during traffic stops, Courthouse News Service reported late last week.
The ACLU of Oklahoma confirmed there are state records proving that the request for the capability was made to manufacturer ERAD Group.
"In its original 'solicitation specifications," DPS asked ERAD to "provide a fully functional solution that allows law enforcement to read and manage data (seize, freeze or return funds) from cards with magnetic stripes containing account numbers and cash balances at the time of contact,'" the ACLU said in a statement.
"In its response to DPS, the ERAD Group said it could not provide the individual bank records DPS wanted. ERAD said its system did not 'provide banking information, such as bank account number or routing number,' and asked that the section be removed from the contract," the statement continued.
ERAD reportedly asked that the request be removed from the specifications because a subpoena would be required in order to access such information.
Some state lawmakers have demanded that DPS stop using the card readers, with Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-OK) calling the program dangerous and an unconstitutional tool, Courthouse News Service said.
"We've seen this time and time again," Loveless explained. "Now, we see they were trying to get that type of information. This shows this isn't about identity theft, drugs, crime or ISIS; it's just another method to take innocent people's property."