Our investigations are uncovering massive flaws in the availability and accessibility of data held by the DVLA.
Anyone can set up a 'parking company' and then access the DVLA data base. Private companies simply make the request at £2.50 a time. Hey presto, nameaddresss and postcode of the registered keeper.
Local authorities and / or their agents however, are not charged for their electronic requests and there is no scrutiny as to whether the request actually relates to an alleged contravention.
The Police are also not charged but with the Police there is an accountable trail and severe penalties for anyone caught accessing the data base for anything other than official business.
Consider however a local authority submitting thousands of requests a week. Who checks?
We have circumstancial evidence that some companies are 'harvesting' data and then sharing it with third parties including direct marketing companies who can then sell this data back to British companies who then cannot be touched by EU or UK legislation.
And then consider organised crime and terrorism and the ease of access to personal data.
You want to know where the manager of a Security Business lives. No need for an 'insider.' Just check the car park, note the registration numbers in the executive car park and submit the details to DVLA through a 'private' company or through a contact in a local authority.
Same applies should anyone wish to set up Al Qaeda Parking Control for purposes other than parking enforcement. Simple, easy access to data including any high profile individuals, civil servants, army personnel or government officials. Their number plates may be obscured on any TV footage but it doesn't happen outside.
Legislation must be brought in immediately to prevent unfettered access to this stream of highly confidential data. It must only be done through the Police or with Police controlled access so that every enquiry has a trace.
The cost may be £1billion a year in lost revenue for local authorities.
The cost may be an end to the 'scam private operators' fleecing motorists on private car parks and allowing motorists no right of appeal.
The cost may be time and an expense for local authorities who will have to suspend 'decriminalised' parking and revert back to proper control with proper accountability through enforcement by Police and magistrates courts.
Must we wait for a direct link back to the DVLA data base from a terrorist atrocity, assassination or a major crime before we see the three wise monkeys (DVLA, the Department for Transport and the Government) take action?
If this is how a major data base can be accessed with a total lack of scruntiny of anyone accessing the date then what chance have do we ever of having our personal details protected if we ever see the introduction of ID Cards?
Friday, February 24, 2006
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