TODAY | December 07, 2012
>> her driver's license photo was accessed illille legally hundreds of times and who is doing is making head lines. it was police officers . nbc's kevin tibbles has more on this story. kevin , good morning to you.
>> reporter: hey, savannah. one of the most widespread breeches of private data by law enforcement in history. when former police officer ann marie rasmussen says she found out how many times her driver's license information had been accessed, she said it made her physically ill. ann marie rasmussen is a former cop and fitness fanatic. she's even taken part in a figure competition.
>> i'm happy with the way i look. i work hard at maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
>> reporter: her workouts have helped her lose more than 100 pounds in recent years, but, she says, that transformation has brought unwanted attention.
>> i was scared to death. i didn't know what to do. hi no idea what to do.
>> reporter: scared she discovered her personal information and photo from her driver's license had been repeatedly searched over and over . surprisingly by law enforcement agents across minnesota using a confidential database.
>> it seems that in some way the officers involved here were treating the dmv records like their own personal facebook.
>> reporter: an investigation found rasmussen , who was recently divorced, had her license, including her address, viewed almost 550 times by 145 individuals in 20 different police agencies. why were they checking you out?
>> personal curiosity and apparently some had an interest in me. a personal interest in me.
>> reporter: they were using the dmv website as a dating service to try to get to you?
>> reporter: some she says knew where she lived and others what kind of car she drove. the problem is it's illegal. the database used for the illicit searches is for official police work only.
>> officers at least in one instance would kind of gather around a computer and say, hey, take a look at this.
>> reporter: rasmussen also says she was once stopped and surrounded by four squad cars , even though a ticket was never issued. rasmussen sued, and so far several of the defendants have settled with her for a total of more than $1 million.
>> being outside right now, right here, is terrifying.
>> reporter: even with police around?
>> because of the potential to see the police.
>> reporter: rasmussen now wants safeguards put in place so confidential databases can only be used for the right reasons.
>> make sure that nobody else ever has to feel as isolated and trapped as i did.
>> reporter: in spite of the fact she was a police officer , was married to a police officer , and has police officers in her family, rasmussen says she's so concerned about being watched by police she's decided to leave the state. savannah?
>> kevin tibbles in our chicago newsroom, kevin , thank you.