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DVLA under fire for selling driver details to 'cowboys'

July, 31 2014


DVLA have been criticised for making huge profits on the alleged miss-sale of driver information.

The accusation was made following an official report showing the number of requests for personal information from private parking firms have increase from last year.

‘Rogue’ parking enforcement firms use the information to chase private individuals who allegedly owe them money from parking fines.

DVLA selling information to cowboy firms

Michael Ellis MP, who sits on the Home Affairs Committee, voiced concerns about the companies purchasing the information.

‘These rogue parking firms are making the lives of innocent motorists a misery,’ Michael Ellis MP said. ‘The DVLA has a lot of serious questions to answer.’

68 parking firms made over 2.4m electronic requests for private information in 2013/14, up by more than 500,000 requests made last year, according to the DVLA’s ‘Who DLVA Shares Data With’ report.

Information such as names and addresses are sold at £2.50 a record, in these cases to companies that impose charges for using private car parks.

Last year the DVLA turned over £6.7 million from these requests, leading to many critics accusing the agency of braking data protection laws.

dvla swansea main office

A DVLA spokesman said: ‘We take our responsibility to protect information seriously … information is only

provided under strict controls to parking firms who meet the standards set by an appropriate Accredited Trade Association and are compliant with its Code of Practice.’

It is suggested that the recent increase in parking firms requesting information has come as a result of the clamping ban brought into effect in 2012. While banning clamping in private car parks it allowed operators to pursue motorists for payment of tickets.

Professor Stephen Glaister, of the RAC Foundation, explained: ‘Just because we have seen the back of clamping we shouldn't think this is the end of parking disputes on private land.

‘The DVLA says it will only share data with those who show reasonably cause … but when you annually dish our nearly 2.5 millions records to parking companies – not to mention millions more to councils, insurance firms and finance businesses – how many checks is the agency able to make to ensure those getting our private information are using it responsibly and being fair to the motorists they’re trying to penalise?’

If trends continue over 100 companies will be making electronic requests next year unless practises change.

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