Feeds

DVLA's 5m driver details giveaway

Sale of driver details is out of control

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Deja-Datapocalypse The DVLA's sale of driver details to anyone with £2.50 to spare must stop, says the Scottish National Party, having uncovered just how many peoples' records have been sold by the department.

Christine Grahame, an SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament, accused the agency of recklessly handing out driver and vehicle requests to private companies.

Grahame used a Freedom of Information request to discover the DVLA has sold 5.3m driver records since 2002/2003 when it was first allowed to sell the data.

She accused the department of failing to check up on the companies it sells the records to and demanded a government review of the practice. Private firms with "reasonable cause" can buy individual records for £2.50 each. If you want more than who the keeper of a vehicle was at a specific time - like a copy of documents or extra information about the vehicle's keeper - the DVLA will charge you £5.

Last year the DVLA sold 1.3m records to private companies - a 54 per cent increase in five years. Grahame made the FOI request because several of her constituents were wrongly sent fines from private parking companies demanding payment. She said letters were written in a way which left people frightened and intimidated.

Grahame said: "These companies obtained personal information by making a simple application to the DVLA who, in my view, recklessly disclosed personal details that led to my constituents being falsely sent fine notices.

“Many of these private firms are extremely difficult to contact and fail to operate fair and independent appeals processes. In all the cases I have dealt with it has subsequently emerged that incorrect fine notices were issued by the company."

Grahame added: "The reckless disclosure of personal driver information by the DVLA amounts to information piracy by a major government agency holding millions of records on private individuals." She said the DVLA, already under fire for misplacing three million records, is giving away just as much information "through the front door" as it is losing accidentally via the back door.

We rang the DVLA to get their side of the story and they said they were working on a line... We'll update the story when we hear from them.

The figures in full:

2002-03 868,385

2003-04 889,663

2004-05 960,560

2005-06 1,264,284

2006-07 1,343,903

®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.