If they're not losing it they're selling it...
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 …
this is compulsarily-drawn data, we have no choice of submission, nor it seems any choice to opt-out. Under what self-assumed power do they think they can sell this on? the parliamentary question clearly insinuates that these data are bought by fraudsters who get enough of a return from their demands with menaces to make it worthwhile even at £2.50 a pop.
- half of this is due to what the powers have allowed as routine, with regard to parking fines etc, they all double after 14 days, and nearly double again after 30, and if you contest them you lose teh "introductory half price offer" - all of which forces innocents to just pay-up. and here is the proof.
when the fuck will lthey learn the difference between "serve" and "govern" oh sod it lets just call them "repress" and "intimidate".
That's what registered keeper records are FOR. So people with reasonable cause can find out who owns the car.
We all need the ability to pursue our rights through the courts. Do you really want to be left with no option other than the rozzers?
You know, if you are hit by a hit and run driver, if people have been trespassing and you got the car number, if someone makes of without paying from a petrol station or a shop, or, yes, if someone parks on a private car park and buggers off without paying.
What IS a scandal is that they aren't auditing a large random sample of these requests to determine that they are legit, and to deter fraudulent requests.
Obtaining personal data fraudulently is an offence carrying a £5000 fine. Why no prosecutions?
Bear that in mind whilst reading the data protection statement when you sign up to the iris recognition system at Gatwick, etc.
Saying that, I've still signed up; currently it's so under-utilised that you can jump a 30 minute passport control queue in under a minute.
No seriously, like someone else already said - I knew about the already scandalous sale of data from the electoral role - but why the f__k isn't this data covered by the data protection act.
You know, the act which when accidentally violated by government departments and other companies prevents them from helping you get the mistake sorted out?
It's not just a nice little earner for the government (which they can pass on to us in the form of lower taxes... hahaha, not really, public sector pay rises for all!) It also fits in neatly with rocketing fuel and car taxes, road pricing, excessive road signs, environmental scaremongering, etc, in getting rid of the car and the incredibly annoying personal freedom it provides, forcing people to either go where the government says they can go (on public transport routes) or stay where they've jolly well been put.
It's joined-up government thinking at its finest.
Black helicopter for the obvious reason... another decade of Labour and the only cars on the road will be black Ministerial ones as well.
What are you all so upset about? If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear.**
What's the odds on medical records being next up for sale (to insurance companies looking to "tailor their services" to the "best needs" of their customers)
[** Sarcasm alert - for those without sufficient detection skills]
There are valid reasons why DVLA should be able to do this, but IMO every such disclosure should be copied back to the person whose data it is. And perhaps this could invite them to tell HMRC how much in used notes they actually paid the firm which asked for the data. Al Capone got put away for tax evasion; I'm sure that more than a few parking enforcement firm bosses are just as deserving.
Isn't this data the kind of stuff you get if you do an HPI check before buying a vehicle? It's about that kind of cost for any member of public to get that data I think.
Problem is you need to know a car's history before buying it.
Who do you protect? The owner or the buyer?
(and no, I don't know the answer).
I don't know whether it's age or just weariness but I'm just not surprised by this.
This administration takes the prize for criminal behaviour and rank hypocrisy. For any Minister or secretary of state to harp on about the need to protect us citizens through the recent terrorism legislation and then blythely allow our personal details to be casually mislaid or even sold just about sums up the arrogant attitude politicians have towards the citizen.
And they actually wonder why we despise them so much.
Would you like a UK website where for £6 per person (less in bulk) you can find (and then order from HMG) birth, marriage, or death certificates, with a database starting in 1837?
It's a reasonably well known and allegedly "legitimate" site which I refuse on principle to name here. If El Reg don't know who I mean and if they want to dig further and ideally run an article, El Reg have my details, and my rates are just as reasonable as El Reg's.
Using your mother's maiden name as a security keyword isn't very sensible, unless you use a word of your choice which *isn't* your mother's maiden name.
My experience with these parking companies concerned a supermarket carpark in London. Somehow, they got from DVLA that I was the keeper of the vehicle, and sent me a demand for money, which was formatted almost, but not quite, like the notices for a criminal fine arising from such things as parking on a double-yellow line.
That's dodgy enough for a start.
But the real fun was not only that I had sold the vehicle, two years before (and DVLA had not sent me the renewal/SORN notice, or followed up any lack of a reply, had such a notice gone missing in the post), but it was a John Deere combine harvester, about 10 feet wide without the header, and generally the sort of thing that you wouldb't be able to drive through London.
So I contacted the Police, because one of the options was somebody running around London on fake plates. And it chanced to be that the guy manning the desk at the Police Station was somebody I knew. So maybe I was told a little more than I should.
The Police know that DVLA data is unreliable, and when they access the records through the Police system they get all sorts of extra details.
So the parking company was told by the DVLA that I was the registered keeper, while the data the Police could access reported that the registration mark was, correctly, no longer in use.
And, being fair, the car park company did back down without any fuss. I suppose it helped that the data they had from, the DVLA included the manufacturer and model of the vehicle: "John Deere" is pretty distinctive.
Of course this is IT-relevant. Clearly, the DVLA system is so poorly designed and operated that they can't reconsile different sets of data for the same vehicle. There at least three different versions of the data, and they were selling the least accurate.
Remember, they hadn't hassled me over not filling in the annual payment (They could have tried fior a forty quid fine on that, if they thought I was still the keeper). They knew I wasn't the keeper of the vehicle any more. They knew the registration mark was no longer in use (I think the machine went to Cyprus), and they told the Police that. But they sold incorrect data.
I'm glad it was such a blatant cock-up. It's quite easy for two or three new vehicles to be registered with consecutively-numbered plates: you could be in a real mess with a white Ytansit van.
1. There is no correlation between the registered keeper of the vehicle and the owner in property law. If you're that scared about your info being sold after you park somewhere you oughtn't then get together with some mates, set up a legal entity and register all your vehicles to it. Privacy assured. Jesus...
2. Get over yourselves - yes, there are unscrupulous clampers and parking ticket issuing companies out there, just like there are unscrupulous lenders. You don't see people screaming "OMFG ban the banks!!!1!!!!!!"
If you own a shop with a bit of land for your customers to park on, and I being a cheap bastard park on it all day for free whilst I go to work you will be rather annoyed. Trouble is the police won't give a damn, so what are you going to do about it? You have no idea who I am, and the only way to identify me is my car reg. You might think about clamping my car yourself, but then I reckon I'll call the police and get you nicked for contravening the Private Security Industry Act. You can get anything up to 5 years in the clink for that (although I admit you'd *really* need to piss the judge off to get anything like that) Private parking has a very valid use (well, if it's well operated it does).
In short, if the DVLA give out your details don't complain - you had no reason to give them your name and home address in the first place. Do you register your domain names and leave your full personal details for all the world to see? If you park on someones private land without permission then be a man and take the consequences instead of whining like a 4 year old. And yes, yes - the rules DO apply to you. You are not special (in that sense anyway)
Yes obviously this is against the 8 principles of the Data Protection Act but who gives a toss?
Well I do actually.
Not only is this action ILLEGAL but they sell it to those people who decide that it costs £60 to park for more than 2 hours on an otherwise empty car park. Tesco do this with their car parks as do B & Q. So for £2.50 they can now hit you with their parking fines.
If we all wrote to the DP(C) then he would be forced to investigate this.
Take a look at this folks it may help as a lot of the time they may actually be breaking the law.
Mr DVLA here's my £2.50 - how many jags is John Prescott driving these days ?
How many of these supermarket 'parking fines' have gone to court? They're supposed to be civil contracts, a contract bound by a sign on the car park but how can that be if there is no exchange of money for the parking service? If they're contracts then why is the fee extracted by intimidating 'penalty charges', and bailiff visits rather than a lawsuit?
There is a perfectly valid penalty the supermarkets and McDonalds can instigate, and that is to refuse to serve someone badly parked.
Then there's the DVLA's involvement in this. They have a test, they disclose details to a bunch of cowboys based on that test, once disclosed those details can't be taken back, the cowboys can disclose and use the details without the test being applied. Yet the test is important?! Civil 'contracts' are not justification for releasing DVLA details. And at the very least they should hear THE OPPOSING VIEWPOINT before the disclosure. Ask the person why they think the claim is false and DVLA should not disclose their details!
And how on earth did we get to companies dishing out penalties like this? Fake pseudo contracts for 'free' parking with fees collected by intimidation and government agency involvement???
How can we be THIS bad at keeping data safe?
Makes me think a few of these employees have caught onto the fact that you can SELL the data, and then claim you've lost it.
On a more serious note, if people INSIST on storing data on a laptop, then install TrueCrypt, encrypt your data, and whack the private key on a USB stick. Problem solved.
I had a fine notice from an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) controlled car park recently. The notice said I had parked without buying a ticket. The tone of the notice was extremely threatening. They had obtained my owner details by sending my registration to DVLA and buying my info. This is what constitutes "reasonable cause" to the DVLA. I was given no prior notification (IE, no ticket was put on my car), and wasn't given an option to "opt out" of this illegal selling of my data to a private third party.
There are strict DVLA guidelines which say prior notice SHOULD be given to the person whose data is to be requested, however these voluntary guidelines a routinely ignored, and the DVLA apparently are "powerless" to do anything about it.
Of course, I couldn't prove I'd bought a parking ticket, because by the time the fine notice was issued, three weeks after the alleged parking violation, I'd disposed of the ticket.
When I wrote an equally threatening letter back to the ticket issuers, it turned out that there was something wrong with their ANPR software (suprirse surprise!) - Yes, I HAD bought a parking ticket. they simply rolled over an rescinded the parking fine.
So I can testify that the system is being abused by those using it.
Let's try a couple of hypotheticals out.
1] I see a nice Bentley in a car park somewhere,think "here's somebody with a few quid" - For £5 I can get enough information from DVLA to steal the owner's identity.
2] I'm a violent abuser, who wants to locate my ex-girlfriend who has taken out a restraining order on me. Simple, Just give my ex-girlfriend' reg to DVLA, and they'll tell me where she's living.
ID cards Mr Brown? If you can't keep my address safe, there's no way you're getting my DNA.
Of course you have a "choice of submission" - if you don't want your vehicle to be traced, don't own a vehicle.
There's two problems here - 1) that DVLA will sell you to anyone without actually checking that the request for info is in any way proper 2) that some scumbags are cloning numberplates and racking up fines in other peoples names
Another government cock-up. How many more will they get away with before we vote them out?
"You know, if you are hit by a hit and run driver, if people have been trespassing and you got the car number"
Sadly, I don't think the general tax-payers of this country count, and your request would be rejected. Only commercial entities would have a valid reason even if that included fraud and demanding money with menaces which both seem to be perfectly acceptable business practises these days.
If, however, whilst you were still in contact with the car you had the presence of mind to find and write down the VIN as well as the license number you may stand a chance at identifying the culprit.
"Do you really want to be left with no option other than the rozzers?"
"You know, if you are hit by a hit and run driver,"
That's rozzer territory. Or do we have vigilantes now?
" if people have been trespassing and you got the car number,"
Trespass is not a crime if you leave when asked. There is not even a civil matter.
" if someone makes of without paying from a petrol station or a shop,"
That's rozzer territory again not vigilant business.
" or, yes, if someone parks on a private car park and buggers off without paying."
Without paying? For free supermarket parking?
Again if it's a pay car park and they go through a barrier and take a ticket there is reasonably a contract there. There is something that equates to terms, (the sign with costs), something that equates to acceptance, (taking the ticket), and payment for services, and something that equates to refusal (a turn around ramp) and terms that reasonably equate to the service. So it's a contract.
Parking on public roads is governed by special laws, it needs to be since its not covered by contracts.
But even so, if the barrier was open and they exited what the hell is it of the DVLC to help a private company make money? They have no duty to the private company, they DO have a duty to protect the persons details they hold. Its the DATA PROTECTION ACT NOT THE DATA DISCLOSURE ACT!
Now look at supermarket free parking. That's a penalty not a fee they're charging, there's nothing like a contract there, no parking service being bought and absolutely no reason why DVLC should take sides and help these cowboys.
If they don't like the way you've parked they should not serve you till you move the car.
Pretty much all these private parking tickets/fines/penalties are scams to fleece the foolish, often run by shady characters hiding behind layers of dodgy companies.
They are NOT enforceable in law and should NEVER be paid. They will send all kinds of threatening letters, but they will NOT go to as they know a properly defended case would be lost. There is no known case of a defended PPC 'fine' being upheld in court.
For the full lowdown on this scam, take a look in the parking tickets forum at www.pepipoo.com
I had a duff parking ticket issued by the numpties at Wandsworth Council to the wrong address, so had to chase up my original V5 from the DVLA. They asked me to fill out form V888/1 detailing the vehicle, but then also:
"The full reason why you require the information/full nature of the incident in section 3 of the V888/2 form."
"Ensure a Business résumé is provided as requested in section 4. It should be headed "Business Résumé", it should be generic and not related to the individual enquiry. It should ideally be on one sheet of company headed paper and contain a brief but clear explanation of the nature of the business, who it is regulated by , the general reasons for requiring information and how the information will be used".
Took me a while to realise that I could have requested this information on anyone, not just me. Reasssuring their standards of proof are so high too. How long before some enterprising blagger comes to the same conclusion?
1. Tour neighbourhood, find nice car
2. Send letter to DVLA on made-up company letterhead, get address
3. Break in, steal keys
As a South African, having not lived in the UK (with UK driver's license) for very long, I too am very shocked that they are allowed to sell the data to private companies. Why were anyone even angry when they lost drivers' data then, because it may end up in the wrong hands? Is it then impossible for the private companies to sell the data they been sold by the DVLA to the wrong people anyway?. So what's the difference between losing the data and selling it to a private company that might (illegaly or not) sell it on to some shady operation.
Typical the rules never apply to the rulemaker does it?
"If you own a shop with a bit of land for your customers to park on, and I being a cheap bastard park on it all day for free whilst I go to work you will be rather annoyed. Trouble is the police won't give a damn, so what are you going to do about it?"
You ask them to leave, and if they don't leave you get it towed.
"In short, if the DVLA give out your details don't complain - you had no reason to give them your name and home address in the first place."
That's false, you are legally required to give the correct *registered keeper* details and you are legally required to keep that up to date. Registered keeper is the keeper not the owner, switching to a company doesn't excuse you from entering the proper registered keeper details.
Some very short sighted indigant people posting on this.
If it were the case that the parking companies couldn't get this information then instead of a 'fine' through the post you'd find your car clamped and someone demanding money before the clamp was removed.
There are legitimate reasons for the DVLA to give out this information, these being when you park on private property with no permission.
There doesn't need to be an express contract formed for this to happen. If the supermarket has a sign up saying that parking is for customers only and you park there and go elsewhere then you are parked in breach of the implied contract. They have every right to seek recompense from you and the easiest and most sensible method is to find out who owns the car and send you a bill.
If there's a mistake and you weren't really parked there then refuse to pay and they'll have to prove it in court to enforce any charge.
Last time I checked you could pitch up to the Magistrates Court with your evidence, get a summons, and do the prosecution yourself. There is no need to get the rozzers involved.
I repeat, it would be a bad thing if the police were your only option, although it looks like the country is going that way.
You should be able to give a forwarding address, like your solicitor or bank though, provided you are prepared to accept legal service there.
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"If it were the case that the parking companies couldn't get this information then instead of a 'fine' through the post you'd find your car clamped and someone demanding money before the clamp was removed."
What's the difference? A fine for unclamping or a fine at home when it's too late to prove you 'left within the 2 hours', or whatever the claimed broken contract term is.
"There are legitimate reasons for the DVLA to give out this information, these being when you park on private property with no permission."
Ask them to leave, if they don't leave get the car towed and notify the police. The DVLA has no duty to take sides and release data it has been given in confidence and subject to data protection act.
"If there's a mistake and you weren't really parked there then refuse to pay and they'll have to prove it in court to enforce any charge."
They know where I live and which car I drive, hence they know when I'm out, and they send bailiffs around to extract money by intimidation. They DO NOT take me to court. Again why does the DVLA help enforce private pseudo contracts like this?
I'm sure the private eye industry loves this, and private car parking scams love it too, put up a plaque on the wall of some land, bingo free money, with the DVLA appearing to back the validity of the 'fine' by handing out the data too.
Supermarkets no doubt get a cut of the money. Ka chink. But the supermarket does not charge for the parking, and penalties for parking badly or taking a little too long look like unreasonable terms for a free service.
What would happen if the Inland Revenue would release my account details to help someone secure a debit on my account? How is this different, it's a government agency handing out data given in secret and in trust to third parties on the one sided claim of a breach of civil contract.
Private bodies DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT to secret information given to government in confidence. Even if they make a (dubious) claim to have the right to issue fines for broken implied contracts. Their claim is untested at that point, the court has not asked the DVLA to release the information.
"Last time I checked you could pitch up to the Magistrates Court with your evidence, get a summons, and do the prosecution yourself. There is no need to get the rozzers involved."
So by that argument, you should be given access to the police DNA database to match DNA samples? And police fingerprint database to match fingerprints? Just so you can mount private criminal investigations yourself? Why? Because you don't want to make a police complaint????? It's the rozzers job!
Why should private companies be given the same investigative rights to privately prosecute crimes like shoplifting and theft of petrol (the examples you listed)? It's not their job and the police are given special powers to do it. DVLA has no business releasing information it has been entrusted with.
If the DVLA (Government Dept.) are allowed to sell these details, what is to stop the dept owning the national ID database (when it exists) doing exactly the same!! Maybe they'll just charge a bit more for the details.
Makes a bit of a mockery of all the security alledged put in place around these systems!!
"...everyone has a unique numberplate...so if anyone cuts you up, you can easily take their number, look it up in the book, and deal with them directly"
1. I did a search and cannot find any details of this 'book' you describe, if there was such a book, why is it that I can't simply look up that information online? If it's OK to reveal that information to everyone, then why NOT online and make it easier?
Then I could watch a swiss webcam, see a car, lookup it's plates and find the details of the owner. Are you OK with this? What if I'm Russian mafia? Still OK? What if I'm the CIA and monitor all web cameras and look up everyone and montiro everyone. Still fine?? You said the "idea that you should be anonymous just because you drive a car is moronic. " I think that the fact this information is not made widely available shows that this information SHOULD NOT BE MADE AVAILABLE.
2. Why stop at driving? I can commit all sorts of crimes while on foot, why doesn't everyone wear a batch saying "I am Fred Gerber of 274 Laplace st, Lausanne, VD".
By Anonymous Coward - "Why should private companies be given the same investigative rights to privately prosecute crimes like shoplifting and theft of petrol (the examples you listed)? It's not their job and the police are given special powers to do it."
Simple, keeps crime figures down and stopes the over stretched police become even more over stretched!
"Simple, keeps crime figures down and stopes the over stretched police become even more over stretched!"
Not reporting crime reduces crime figures? Taking matters into your own hands reduces crime figures?
OK, give me the car registration details and home address of the McDonalds parking company employees. I'll take it up with them directly. Are they OK with that? Why should their staff be able to hide behind a ltd company construct? It's a civil dispute, we are equal in the eyes of the law. If they have the right to take this dispute to my home, then I have the right to take it to THEIR homes!
In fact, I might go photograph their car park and put the numbers up on the web, for someone to get the home addresses from the DVLA. Same thing, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I'll take my dispute directly to them, at their homes, with their families present.
Have you noticed when politicians and celebs appear driving on TV, their license plate number is fuzzied out to protect their identity?
The politicians understand privacy, the celebs do, yet somehow DVLA has some problem with understanding? Can't read Article 8 of the Human Rights laws? Can't understand the word 'protection' in 'Data Protection"? I missed the fundamental human right "to collect information on others for commercial gain".
[What's the difference? A fine for unclamping or a fine at home when it's too late to prove you 'left within the 2 hours', or whatever the claimed broken contract term is]
You can actually get home without having to fork out £90 or whatever they charge to get the clamp removed and then trying to get your money back. Best of luck with that btw.
[Ask them to leave, if they don't leave get the car towed and notify the police. The DVLA has no duty to take sides and release data it has been given in confidence and subject to data protection act]
Trespass isn't a criminal offence so the police have no jurisdiction. Why do you want to notify them? And you think towing is fine but clamping/ticket isn't? Towing like clamping requires a SIA licensed operator. They are identical in the effect on the driver which you are so concerned about. The only difference between the two is the land owner gets their land back quicker. The driver still has to part with money before they can go home and then try to get it back later.
[They know where I live and which car I drive, hence they know when I'm out, and they send bailiffs around to extract money by intimidation.]
*sigh* Bailiffs can only exercise their powers under a warrant ISSUED BY A COURT. You can easily avoid that by not avoiding the correspondence from the company that issued the ticket.
[Supermarkets no doubt get a cut of the money. Ka chink. But the supermarket does not charge for the parking, and penalties for parking badly or taking a little too long look like unreasonable terms for a free service]
Whether they charge or not is entirely irrelevant. And the "taking a little too long" statement is a joke - I've yet to see a supermarket car park that has a max stay under 3 hours. How long does it take to do your shopping?! Of course if you go to Tesco then off to the nearby B&Q or whatever without moving your car then you get what you deserve when they ticket/clamp/tow you.
If you don't agree with the terms of parking, then don't park. It really is that simple. I'm afraid you can't decide to park there under your own terms - it's private land.
I don't get why parking is such an emotive issue. There;s nothing wrong IN THEORY with what the DVLA are doing. If you get other ppls details without proper cause then you risk a £5k fine. Think of it like the PNC - omg any police officer can misuse it to find where you live and kick the living *** out of you when he's off duty. Oh but wait, you get in trouble for misusing it. Do you think we should ban the PNC? Or should police officers be allowed to trace ppl by their car reg when it's reasonable to do so? Yeah of course.
If your only argument about this is that you don't think there should be any comeback against you when you park somewhere you shouldn't then I am afraid I think that;s a childish and selfish attitude.
"You can actually get home without having to fork out £90 or whatever they charge to get the clamp removed and then trying to get your money back"
I'd call the police if I thought they'd illegally clamped my car. If you towed it away and I believed you didn't have the right, I'd file a theft charge against you. And if I think you didn't have the right to clamp, I'd go get some bolt cutters. Or yes, I could also pay then sue you in court.
What has this to do with the DVLA handing out my private data in violation of the data protection act?
"Trespass isn't a criminal offence so the police have no jurisdiction."
You notify them, so that when person wants to know where their car is the police have a record of it. It's a courtesy.
"*sigh* Bailiffs can only exercise their powers under a warrant ISSUED BY A COURT. "
A bailiff can go to a door at any time and demand payment, they only need the court order to forcibly enter or seize property. Apparently they also have the power to make the DVLA break it's duty under the data protection act without a court order too! But thats a DVLA problem.
"If you don't agree with the terms of parking, then don't park. It really is that simple. I'm afraid you can't decide to park there under your own terms - it's private land."
If you don't agree with the DVLA handing out your details, don't give the DVLA your details,..... wait... I don't have the choice! Regardless of the terms the supermarket thinks you have accepted, the DVLA has a duty under the data protection act and right of privacy to withhold that data.
"If your only argument about this is that you don't think there should be any comeback against you when you park somewhere you shouldn't then I am afraid I think that;s a childish and selfish attitude."
Nothing but name calling. If you think that because your company is called "Parking R Us" that you should be allowed access to priviliedge data given in confidence to a government agency and subject to data protection laws, then you are a big poopy face.
Supermarkets, McDonalds, car parks all have recourse that does not involve a breach of the data protection act, or a violation of Article 8 by the DVLA.
You know, if you are hit by a hit and run driver-Criminal matter
if someone makes of without paying from a petrol station or a shop -Criminal Matter
And yes, to be honest I would prefer the police to deal with stuff rather than have anyone who has a couple of quid available to get this information
the PM (if they hold a driving licence & own a car) and all Cabinet Ministers, as do all serving police officers, have their registration numbers excluded from this sort of sale, as do Ministerial cars, for security reasons of course. Funny how they need to be protected from parking fines and we don't.
Posted anonymously for job security reasons
> ....as do all serving police officers... (have their registration numbers excluded from this sort of sale)
Complete bollocks, of course - police officers' cars are treated no differently from anyone else's as far as DVLA registration is concerned... where do these people come from?
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