Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: DVLA Sharing Disabled People's Personal Information Publicly.

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    vikstar
    Guest

    DVLA Sharing Disabled People's Personal Information Publicly.

    This is disgraceful.

    DVLA website lets visitors check on neighbour's benefits.

    Get complaining now to stop this breach of The Data Protection Act 1998.
    Last edited by vikstar; 03-07-14 at 12:53.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,512
    It's only showing the same taxation class as is currently on the tax disc.

    There's a possible "own goal" here. If the taxation class is taken off this service, we might leave no way for those offering exemptions for vehicles that are VED exempt on the grounds of disability to offer those exemptions after October, when paper tax discs are discontinued.

    If you have a VED exempt vehicle, your neighbours are likely well aware that you're disabled.

  3. #3
    vikstar
    Guest
    I don't agree with your logic Flymo.

    Information displayed regarding the MOT, and period of when the vehicle is covered by Road Tax is tied to the vehicle.

    The information regarding Taxation Class, also divulges personal information about the driver or registered keeper.

    I am sure that it would be quite simple to have a system where the information regarding the Taxation Class could be made available to relevant agencies and authorities, without it also being available to the general public.

    This is just a wide open door for any malicious little toerag who wished to cause problems for a disabled person by reporting them anonymously via some trumped up accusation, to do so !!!

    How would the neighbour know that you had a nil rate Tax Disc if you parked your car on a private drive, etc and they couldn't view the Tax Disc in close proximity ?

    When Tax Discs are phased out, there would be no other way of neighbours or any one else knowing that you were disabled and entitled to free Road Tax other than the DVLA vehicle check facility. Unless of course you choose to tell them yourself.

    I rest my case !!!
    Last edited by vikstar; 03-07-14 at 15:29.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,512
    I do see the potential for problems. I think I'm disagreeing primarily about how much of a problem this is in practice.


    The "DISABLED" taxation class means is that the vehicle is a Motability vehicle or has a VED exemption certificate applied. This system doesn't identify the name of the exempt individual (who could be a passenger living at another location to where the car is parked), nor where they live.

    At the moment, if someone wants to check the tax disc, I appreciate they have to physically walk up to the windscreen. In the case of my car (VED exempt, non Motability), that would be easy from the pavement - the car is parked on the drive facing the street, and is not overlooked by any of the windows that are usually occupied. I go as low profile as possible - my Blue Badge is not on display unless it has to be, and I certainly don't have my car festooned in DISABLED DRIVER or BLUE BADGE HOLDER stickers as some do (I've never seen the point of drawing attention to your vulnerability with those stickers).


    I'd think the number of people who know the way the "DISABLED" taxation class works without having personal reason to engage with the system is very low. I expect if I quizzed my neighbours (the three closest houses are a retired headmistress, a senior civil servant at HMRC and husband and wife restaurateurs) what they could tell about me from the tax disc, I doubt any of them would know.

    If anyone wanted to make a malicious complaint to the benefit fraud hotline, they don't need to know what benefits I'm on.

  5. #5
    vikstar
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
    I do see the potential for problems. I think I'm disagreeing primarily about how much of a problem this is in practice.


    The "DISABLED" taxation class means is that the vehicle is a Motability vehicle or has a VED exemption certificate applied. This system doesn't identify the name of the exempt individual (who could be a passenger living at another location to where the car is parked), nor where they live.

    At the moment, if someone wants to check the tax disc, I appreciate they have to physically walk up to the windscreen. In the case of my car (VED exempt, non Motability), that would be easy from the pavement - the car is parked on the drive facing the street, and is not overlooked by any of the windows that are usually occupied. I go as low profile as possible - my Blue Badge is not on display unless it has to be, and I certainly don't have my car festooned in DISABLED DRIVER or BLUE BADGE HOLDER stickers as some do (I've never seen the point of drawing attention to your vulnerability with those stickers).


    I'd think the number of people who know the way the "DISABLED" taxation class works without having personal reason to engage with the system is very low. I expect if I quizzed my neighbours (the three closest houses are a retired headmistress, a senior civil servant at HMRC and husband and wife restaurateurs) what they could tell about me from the tax disc, I doubt any of them would know.

    If anyone wanted to make a malicious complaint to the benefit fraud hotline, they don't need to know what benefits I'm on.
    Flymo, you now digress from your original argument.

    The point is, that the information now provided as a new service on The DVLA Vehicle Check facility also divulges personal information regarding the driver, registered keeper or passenger of the car, and they may not wish such information made available to the general public.

    "If anyone wanted to make a malicious complaint to the benefit fraud hotline, they don't need to know what benefits I'm on."
    This is true, however it makes it a damn sight easier for malicious people to do so, and all anonymous reports will be investigated.

    You now have a scenario where some sick minded individual could sit at their window with their laptop/tablet, checking all cars in view to see who was in receipt of HR Mobility DLA, War Pensioners Mobility Supplement or Enhanced Mobility PIP, only to then fire off anonymous reports as part of some sort of twisted game.

    One would be naive to assume that people like this don't exist, as there is substantive evidence that they do.

    As this has now been highlighted on the net, it will be known to many such sickos.

    My intention in posting this information was not to open a discussion, but to inform forum participants of this issue.

    After all, this is information that should remain private to any particular individual, it is nobody else's business.

    What is the benefit of making such information public ? I cannot think of any, other than to encourage people to make anonymous reports.

    As always, I will leave it up to the forum viewers to make their own minds up.
    Last edited by vikstar; 03-07-14 at 16:59.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,512
    Quote Originally Posted by vikstar View Post
    Flymo, you now digress from your original argument.
    I'm really not sure I have. This data has been available from the beta version of vehicle check for several months, and only indicates the taxation class of the vehicle (as is currently shown on the tax disc).

    My original argument was that there is potential benefit to disabled people in this information being available on the current basis. There didn't seem to be much more to say on that point. If people who operate VED based exemptions have to register for individual access to the taxation class, it is further encouragement for them to drop the exemption when paper tax discs end.


    However, it is worth exploring the potential harm, which I was questioning. If a nosey neighbour wants to check a tax disc, they can probably find an excuse to walk past your car even if it is on your drive, for example using the pretence of putting a note through your door.


    Quote Originally Posted by vikstar View Post
    The point is, that the information now provided as a new service on The DVLA Vehicle Check facility also divulges personal information regarding the driver, registered keeper or passenger of the car, and they may not wish such information made available to the general public.
    Let's start by assuming the taxation class is personal data within the definition in section 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998, as the data controller (DVLA) might be able to link the "DISABLED" taxation class to an identified disabled person.

    Whether DVLA can actually identify the disabled person depends on how they handle the exemption certificate. I've not used one of the new style exemption certificates at the Post Office, but online DVLA ask for the serial number of the certificate, NI number of the holder and first three letters of the holder's surname. I suspect this is passed to the DWP system for validation, and the DWP system does not identify the disabled person in question to DVLA. If that is the limits of the extent of DVLA's access to the DWP data, DVLA cannot identify the disabled person from data that is, or is likely to come, into their possession, so the taxation class would not be personal data relating to the disabled person.

    I think the fairest thing to say is that it is unclear whether the taxation class is personal data within the s. 1 Data Protection Act 1998 definition.


    If the taxation class is personal data, a disabled person affected by DVLA's policy has the right, under section 10 of the Data Protection Act 1998, to require DVLA not to process this data in a way that might cause him/her substantial and unwarranted damage or distress.


    Quote Originally Posted by vikstar View Post
    You now have a scenario where some sick minded individual could sit at their window with their laptop/tablet, checking all cars in view to see who was in receipt of HR Mobility DLA, War Pensioners Mobility Supplement or Enhanced Mobility PIP, only to then fire off anonymous reports as part of some sort of twisted game.

    One would be naive to assume that people like this don't exist, as their is substantive evidence that they do.

    As this has now been highlighted on the net, it will be known to many such sickos.

    My intention in posting this information was not to open a discussion, but to inform forum participants of this issue.
    I, too, am happy for people to make up their own mind.

    You do have to submit the make of the vehicle to the system, not just the registration, so you can't casually check vehicles from a distant glance at a number plate. However, I appreciate that identifying the make of most common vehicles is not difficult, even from a distance.


    It is certainly open to disabled people to put representations to DVLA that they do not want the DISABLED taxation class showing on the public vehicle check system (DVLA could, instead, display the taxation class of the vehicle if it was not exempt on the public service).

    It doesn't bother me that this data is available on my car and I'm not sure it really provides that much aid to those wishing to make false or malicious benefit fraud reports - they can report without knowing whether the subject does receive any benefits. However, I'm happy for the weight of opinion to go against me.

  7. #7
    vikstar
    Guest
    It appears that a very well known and respected welfare advice website and publishing company agrees with my line of thinking on this issue.

    DVLA refuse to back down over revealing benefits details online.

    If you read the comments below the article it also appears that The ICO are already investigating.

    The more people that complain, the more likely it is that DVLA will be forced to back down.

    I have no more to say on this subject, but will however update this thread regarding any future developments.
    Last edited by vikstar; 05-07-14 at 13:02.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    779
    Quote Originally Posted by vikstar View Post
    It appears that a very well known and respected welfare advice website and publishing company agrees with my line of thinking on this issue.

    DVLA refuse to back down over revealing benefits details online.


    If you read the comments below the article it also appears that The ICO are already investigating.

    The more people that complain, the more likely it is that DVLA will be forced to back down.

    I have no more to say on this subject, but will however update this thread regarding any future developments.
    Thank you for posting this information Vikstar. People need to be aware about things like this - so they can act accordingly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    3,512
    vikstar - that's just an appeal to authority. I respect Benefits and Work - but they are not sole arbiters of the law. Their latest article is also factually wrong - the registered keeper is not necessarily the owner, and the person whose exemption certificate is applied to a VED exempt car may not be either the owner or the registered keeper.


    Benefits and Work have legally qualified people. They could have advised the original complainant to make a section 10 DPA 1998 complaint to DVLA if they felt the taxation class was personal data, as I suggested earlier in this thread. Seemingly, they did not do so.


    I definitely respect the person that has suggested in the comments at B&W that this might come within Article 8 ECHR - but you can't just say "this is the state interfering with my privacy, so Article 8 ECHR makes that illegal". It is far from that simple. Whole legal textbooks are written on privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8 is a qualified right - there are exceptions. It also has to be seen 'in the round' with the remainder of the Convention, especially Article 10 (right to freedom of expression and information). Article 14 (right of non-discrimination in the application of all other Convention rights) would also potentially be engaged here.

    In the UK, the law on privacy depends partly on the interplay between ECHR Articles 8 & 10 and partly on the domestic law of confidence. This was seen in Campbell v Mirror Group Newspapers [2004] UKHL 22 - the case where Naomi Campbell won her claim against the Daily Mirror over publishing pictures of her leaving an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. To give an idea of how complex this became, the House of Lords judgment covers 49 pages in Appeal Cases, the key series of law reports, and totals 171 paragraphs of opinion from the Law Lords who sided with Campbell on a 3:2 majority.

    You can only go to the European Court of Human Rights when you've exhausted all appeals in the UK courts. Campbell did go to Strasbourg after the House of Lords. The European Court concluded that the House of Lords decision was correct.



    I don't have strong feelings either way as to whether this information should be publicly available or not - I've given an argument as to why it might be in disabled people's interests for it to be available, but I will happily bow to the weight of opinion over this if people believe it is not in the widest best interests of disabled people.

    However, as I've explained earlier in the thread, it is unclear whether the taxation class is personal data. That issue seems best forced by someone making a section 10 complaint to DVLA which, if it is rejected, gives more weight to complaints to the Information Commissioner's Office.

    There is also the public policy aspect, which can be taken up on your behalf with the relevant ministers via your MP.

  10. #10
    vikstar
    Guest
    The latest encouraging update on this issue from the B and W website.

    Data protection expert agrees DVLA is breaching rights of disabled claimants.

Similar Threads

  1. Personal Information Query
    By Tatty_Tat in forum Benefits - help & advice on disability benefits, incapacity benefits, ESA and DLA
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 13-05-13, 10:19
  2. Research on how physically disabled people and non-disabled people interact
    By PsychologyMark89 in forum Surveys, research requests and TV programmes
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-05-13, 19:34
  3. Disabled trainee counsellor looking to help other disabled people FOR FREE
    By inside_i'm_dancing in forum Surveys, research requests and TV programmes
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22-01-13, 18:40
  4. Disabled trainee counsellor looking to help other disabled people FOR FREE
    By inside_i'm_dancing in forum Health - help & advice on health issues for disabled people
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22-01-13, 18:40
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22-01-13, 18:40

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •