Feeds

DVLA pledges investigation over Castrol spy posters

Marketing cash greases wheels

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The DVLA's sideline in selling data to marketing companies is under renewed scrutiny after Castrol used it to target drivers with personalised billboard advertising.

The poster campaign - at five high profile locations in London - was scheduled to run for two weeks but was pulled last week after just four days, following complaints.

Each billboard was connected to a number plate recognition camera and computer that would search a copy of the DVLA database for the car's make and model. Castrol would then flash an oil recommendation on the billboard's digital display, along with the registration number, in an attempt to grab drivers' attention.

Today the DVLA said: "We have not provided any vehicle information to Castrol or received any fee from them in relation to their campaign.

"DVLA provides vehicle information under strict contractual terms to the motor industry to ensure vehicles are fitted with the correct parts, including brakes, tyres and oil.

"We make it absolutely clear that information must not be used for direct marketing purposes."

The DVLA may not have supplied Castrol directly, but it does give data to intermediaries.

Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Norman Baker told the Mail on Sunday the practice was "cavalier".

"They don't even check what the end use is. It seems all you have to do is ask and the DVLA will give, no matter who you are and for what purpose. It's outrageous this was allowed to happen," he said.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the AA said personalised billboards could dangerously distract drivers.

Yet at launch last week, Castrol was hoping to extend the campaign beyond the first five sites. "We’re confident that the campaign will not only excite and intrigue drivers, but serve its purpose in helping motorists to understand the 'right oil right car' message.

"If the campaign proves successful, we may consider a roll out to further sites including areas with longer dwell times such as forecourts," said marketing manager Rob Stroud.

The DVLA today said such use was "inappropriate" and it was "urgently investigating". ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.