Thousands of drivers have had personal details relating to their cars accidentally published online, a Sky News investigation has found.
The information leak relates to PaymyPCN.net, which collects penalty charge notices (PCN) and is directly linked to the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) website. Sky News claims that a link, erroneously sent to a motorist who had used the site, allowed public access to the database, which is normally restricted to use by police or licensed parking companies.
Amongst the information published are the names and addresses of those issued with a PCN. However, of even greater concern, emails from drivers contesting the charges, as well as photographs of vehicles and their owners – normally used as supporting evidence of a charge – were also readily accessible.
The data breach surfaced when consumer campaigner Michael Green published it on Twitter. He recently launched a campaign against parking enforcement on private land and the DVLA profiteering from selling on drivers’ details.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Green said: "I am not surprised by this. The DVLA claims to have safeguards in place to ensure drivers' details are safe but these only exist as media soundbites.
"Our campaign challengethefine.com aims to get people compensated for parking data breaches. Despite the RAC Foundation questioning the legality of these charges the DVLA still passes millions of details on to private firms."
The DVLA has made around £22million from selling drivers’ details to parking firms and other related companies over the past four years. A spokesperson for the agency said: "This is not a DVLA error. We take our duty to safeguard data very seriously and we will not compromise data security.
"DVLA does not hold or provide data such as photographs, emails and phone numbers to private parking companies."
Do you think the DVLA should be allowed to sell private information to third parties? Let us know in the comments section below.