back to article DVLA data powers likely to be abused by foreign officials

Personal data belonging to nearly 40 million UK motorists is likely to be abused by foreign officials under new automatic access powers, according to a restricted report. Drivers' details such as name, address, motoring convictions and some medical information will be available to more than two dozen European countries around …


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  1. Eden

    Rise of the Clones!

    Expect to see a MASSIVE increase in cloned vehicles then !

    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      Yes, of course. If you're ringing a car in Bratislava, a British registration is exactly what you need to avert all suspicion......

  2. Inachu

    really stupid.

    even more easier faster access for mossad agents!

    how nice!

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      what a stupid comment!

      Funny, i didnt realise Israel was in the EU...

      But yes, lets be worried about Israeli mossad agents getting access to our databases by somehow first getting access to some foreign EU powers databases. Yes thats really what people should be worried about in this situation...


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        He's not an idiot, he's very perceptive. If there are 26 countries in the EU, you only need to do a political deal with one of them to get access to the data for all 26. You only need to infiltrate one to get access to all 26.

        Israel has it's Israel lobby, the 'Friends of Israel' group, which is actively infiltrating UK politics.

        That SWIFT data we're handing to the US, the agreement lets them share that data with Israel, indeed it lets them share that data with anyone! All our internal inter-country transfers are open to view by foreign nations, some of whom are very hostile to us.

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          Tin foil hat missing?

          That your biggest fear is that mossad could get access to your address (and what other minor data the DVLA holds) really speaks volumes about your world view.

          Please return to wearing your tin foil hat and leave the rest of us to be concerned about the much greater (and far more realistic) threat to our personal lives from the cyber criminals opertaing from Eastern Europe.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Tin foil hat

            "That your biggest fear is that mossad could get access to your address (and what other minor data the DVLA holds) really speaks volumes about your world view."

            So you accept that they can?... You don't seem to be disputing it anymore.

            I gave you a link on Dispatches investigation of Israels attempts to control UK politics. They now can have SWIFT data, if a UK politicians have sent any embarrassing payments via SWIFT they are exposed to foreign influence now.

            You may be happy for the Mossad boys to run the country, I am not.

            1. david wilson

              @@Tin foil hat

              >>"You may be happy for the Mossad boys to run the country, I am not."

              If you're going to be paranoid, you might as well assume that any serious foreign intelligence agency already can find out your details from your number plate, etc, assuming there's any reason they would want to do that.

              It can't be *that* hard to infiltrate the DVLA/police/whatever.

              Any overseas agency that really wanted access but had so far failed to get it wouldn't seem like a massive threat.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Tin Foil

                "You may be happy for the Mossad boys to run the country, I am not...."If you're going to be paranoid, you might as well assume that any serious foreign intelligence agency already can find out your details from your number plate, etc."

                Then why do we share this data if they already have it!? Or is it every *other* nation, except for EU ones that have it??! I do not accept that protecting data is futile, I do not accept that Israel already has high speed data link into the DVLA database, and yet other EU countries do not.

                I also don't think the lack of DVLA real time feed means that a foreign power is not a threat. Are the Taliban a threat? Do they have a real time DVLA access? Hence we need to be careful about how data is handled.

                Look at how this problem was identified and fixed:


                1. david wilson

                  Tinfoil hats forever

                  >>"Then why do we share this data if they already have it!? Or is it every *other* nation, except for EU ones that have it??! I do not accept that protecting data is futile, I do not accept that Israel already has high speed data link into the DVLA database, and yet other EU countries do not."

                  Why would Mossad [or insert other Scary Organisation] need a *high-speed* link into the DVLA database?

                  Do you reckon they're thinking of moving into the car insurance business and want to start poaching customers in bulk?

                  The point is that *for people who have paranoid worries about Scary Organisations it probably wouldn't take more than lightweight access to facilitate most conceivable Evil Plans, and the paranoid person really should be assuming that such a level of access was already happening anyway if they are to be at all consistent with their level of worry.

                  After all, if access to DVLA data was in any way important to said Evil Plans, there'd be a very good reason for such access to be desired, and given that for the last howevermany years it really wouldn't be hard to get access via various routes, it would be a strange Scary Organisation that had held back for years/decades in the hope that access would eventually happen by some other route.

            2. Ejl

              Oh noes

              "So you accept that they can?... You don't seem to be disputing it anymore."

              THAT is the sentence that marks you out as a conspiracy theorist. It's a giant flag of hilarious, but depressing crackpotism.

              The internet has won. Move along, nothing to see here.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                The internet has won

                "THAT is the sentence that marks you out as a conspiracy theorist. It's a giant flag of hilarious, but depressing crackpotism."

                Your talking to an anonymous coward, I have no face to lose. So any attempt to label me a crackpot fails, because there is no 'me'. Only a set of arguments and links to further reading, and none of the authority in that argument stems from me, because I am nobody.

                So yes the Internet wins and you lose.

                I think it also illustrates why being anonymous is a good thing and worth protecting.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Israel doesn't need to be in the EU

        As long as the Eurovision exploit remains unpatched.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    So, this won't get trawled by some insiders in most of the far-eastern euroland countries, and sold on, resulting in fraud and abuse on a massive scale then?

    Oh, it will???

  4. MarmiteToast

    They could...

    At a bare minimum:

    1. Log all access

    2. Allow people to register abuse ala TPS

    3. Revoke access for those found abusing the system

    Although this is kind of closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Logging all access

      Sounds like a good idea, if practicable.

      I don't know whether this is a standard thing to do or not. A long time ago I saw an episode of "The Bill" whose plot hinged on access logs. If I remember correctly, even access to the access log was logged, do they could find out not only who had looked up a certain numberplate at a certain time, but who else had wanted to know who had looked up that numberplate.

      1. Adam Salisbury

        Welcome to Compliance

        There's an app for that, the hot buzz-name is ALM or automated log management, it's a piece of cake to implement and proves undoubtedly that NPIA at the very least should be taken out back at put of their misery before they do more damamge

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to be fair

    the data would only get left on a train anyway; might as well make it open in the first place.

  6. CD001


    Lobby the gov/DVLA to AES encrypt the entire database and allow this access to it... just not the decryption key.

  7. Fred 24

    Time... add another reason toward my consideration of surrendering my licence then!

    fuel costs + road tax +idiot drivers + servicing costs + speed cameras + speed bumps + poor roads = fail.

    1. Richard Taylor 2
      Thumb Down


      Public transport (when observed) makes this a difficult strategy to implement

  8. howard bowen 1

    A title

    This government is kind of like watching a slow motion car crash. You know well in advance it's all going to go titsup and slowly but surely it does but perhaps turns out even worse than you could possibly have imagined.

    Roll on the revolution - the bloodier the better!

  9. Roger Heathcote 1
    Thumb Down


    I was going to update the address on my drivers license, now I may not bother.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    " add another reason toward my consideration of surrendering my licence then!"

    Ah but that's just what they're hoping. Get you to give up your personal transport so you are easier to keep tabs on. And claim it's all to the good because you're polluting less, well done.

  11. Cameron Colley

    Thank you all for voting labour.

    I would just like to thank the Euro-lovers and other assorted morons who allowed Labour in for this last term.

    Yes, I know all the parties are corrupt, self-serving liars but at least stopping this shower of shit getting into power may have resulted in a slightly slower descent towards our being sold to the highest bidder as we now have been.

    Anyone else remember the days when we pitied the poor Eastern Europeans toiling away so their communist masters could holiday with their rich friends?

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge


      The funny thing is that I remember reading about this long ago. ISTR that it was in fact Labour who were twisting the arms of other countries to implement this.

      As well as giving our information to others, it also allowed them to collect even more records; those of everyone in other countries. They did say that this was only being done to combat serious, organised crime and terrorism though. (Such as banks in cold countries and people going to school more than 100 yards from where they live ?)

  12. Peter 46

    I feel so much safer

    "including former Eastern bloc states such as Bulgaria, where official corruption is widespread" - And this is different to UK agencies HOW?

  13. Andy 97

    Is this something to do with Mandleson?

    Whenever I see some EU-based crapness based around security and other bollocks its usually Sir Hiss who's got his fingers on it.

    Massive fail and we can't even vote him out now.

  14. Alec
    Big Brother


    The image that accompanies this article appears to bear a protective marking of RESTRICTED, although you can't really tell for sure because it's cropped.

    I'm pretty sure that you're not supposed to publish protectively marked material on the web for all and sundry to see!

    1. Adam Salisbury


      Trying telling the guys who wrote the rules that!!

  15. TeeCee Gold badge

    High risk?

    Let's face it, giving this data away free to Bulgarian traffic wardens presents a far higher risk than flogging it en masse to the shady cowboys of the private clamping industry.

    Who's more likely to want to misuse this data. Someone in Sofia or two dodgy blokes with a record for petty theft and their own tow truck in Essex?

    Odd that. Pass a piece of legislation obliging the DVLA to share its data with authorised authorities and they're up in arms about the security risks, but offer them the chance to make a few quid on the side and it's a very different story.

    If you ever needed a cast-iron proof that this mob are as bent as a nine-bob note, this is it.

  16. david 63

    Data protection principles

    * Fairly and lawfully processed

    * Processed for limited purposes

    * Adequate, relevant and not excessive

    * Accurate and up to date

    * Not kept for longer than is necessary

    * Processed in line with your rights

    * Secure

    * Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection

    2,7 and 8 fucked then.

    1. Adam Salisbury


      With any luck some entrepreneurial rich-type could try taking the governement to court for breaching it's own DPA when they signed the Euro-crap, sadly anyone with that much money probably doesn't want to

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Waaaaaay too late

      If the ICO had any teeth they would have shut that shop a long time ago. I think item 1 and 6 are voided too. You've never been asked during the time of collection if you consented to the global distribution of this information and even if they did, this is a change of scope so they'd have to ask again. With respect to your rights, it violates the privacy directive of the Human Rights act.

      I must admit I'm puzzled. How come the whole nation rose to get cheaper petrol prices, yet can't be arsed to strike for their human rights? As far as I can tell, the country should be on hold, with 90% or more marching towards Whitehall, ready to run a repeat of Guy Fawkes if the current lot doesn't go asap. An election ought to be almost superfluous.

      1. david wilson

        @Waaaaaay too late

        >>"I must admit I'm puzzled. How come the whole nation rose to get cheaper petrol prices, yet can't be arsed to strike for their human rights?"

        That's an easy one.

        'The whole nation' did nothing of the sort.

        In fact, it was down to a fairly small number of people taking industrial action in a way that many of the more vocal supporters would have whined loudly and/or sneered about if it had happened in France.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Yet one more reason not to put so much data in databases

    Because everybody with access is fully trustable, of course. They've all been vetted by their respective governments, of course. Yes, sir, we guarantee you that we are very careful. Except when we accidentally mail all the data in the clear or lose it on the commuter train or something. Don't worry, everything is perfectly fine. Nothing to see here, move along now.

    As so many have already found out, once the information is out in the open, you can't get it out of the open. As Streisand, ask Julius Baer, ask almost anyone. The protection is gone, forever. But that's fine, because if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Obviously. So what are you afraid of? What do you have to hide, hm?

  18. SteveK

    A title

    Under the data protection act, am I not allowed to write to the DVLA and request that I don't wish for my personal data to be stored in their database?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Roger Heathcote1

    Assuming you aren't just trolling you are aware the penalty for failing to update the address on your drivers license is a fine of up to £1000?

    Not to mention that should you be stopped by the filth you may well have trouble proving your eligibility to legally drive should plod ask you to provide such - especially if your license is a non-photographic one. You could well have your car seized temporarily because of this.

    Although I suspect you are just frothing to try to prove some point here I would recommend you (and anyone similarly tempted to not update their address) do tell DVLA your new address.

    1. tony72


      You may be correct, however; I was stopped by the fuzz a couple of months ago and given a fixed penalty notice for no MOT (3 weeks late, oops). The copper asked if the address on my license was current, I said no, and gave my current address for the purposes of writing up my fixed penalty notice. He did not otherwise comment on the out of date address, suggest that I update it, or mention any penalty should I fail to do so. I'm surprised that a bored cop who is actively looking for people to bust, would pass up the opportunity to make my day worse.

      I also can't immediately see such a penalty on the DVLA website; all it says under "Keeping your details correct" is "Telling DVLA your details have changed will ensure your record is up to date and all future driving licence reminders are sent to your correct address." Under obligations, it says you must inform them of change of name or address, but it doesn't mention a penalty. Maybe it's you that's frothing?

      1. Eddie Edwards

        @ tony72 @ lee

        Last I heard it was a £60 fine, although I'm sure you could use your "I wasn't written up for it once so it isn't an offence" argument in court, and get it upped to £400.

    2. Steve Brammer


      This is not exactly true. If you move to another country (I live in Sweden) your UK license is still valid as long as it is valid in your home country. However the DVLA do not allow you to update the address to an address outside of the UK. I have a written reply from the DVLA stating that in the case that you move to another EU country it is accepted that the address on your license will be incorrect.

      I also use my UK license (with the incorrect address) to rent a hire car each time I travel back to UK. I explain the situation to them and they just ask me to write down my actual address, no fuss or suggestion that anything is wrong.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No such thing as 'unreasonable cause' anyway

    It's no different from the current situation.

    The law says you can buy an address for £2.50 if you have 'reasonable cause'.

    The DVLA's attitude is that anyone who is willing to pay £2.50 MUST have reasonable cause. You can put what you like in the reasons box (and that's all it is - no evidence required) and the DVLA will happily flog you anyone's address.

    Great if you've seen a nice sports car driven by an older person who looks easy burgle.

    Also nice if you're a private parking company. Give out a fake, unenforceable parking ticket, send out threatening letters and wait for the cheques to come back.

  21. Paul Johnston

    What is the problem?

    If you can't trust the governments of the world who can you trust?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Hehe, you get whatever Xmas you deserve

    The protection to the data for this is accidentally regulated by Shengen which. In order to join Shengen all countries participating have to have not only the information, but the safeguards on it which are by the way fairly stringent (german privacy legislation style).

    For all these countries any Prun requests as a result of the way their legislation and process is set up go down the shengen channel and are logged, policed and limited.

    It is the odd ones which try to do "pick and mix" international law participation which get the unfetterered access problem. With Britain being the biggest pix-n-mixer of all...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Does it not make any difference that the UK is not party to the Schengen agreement?

  23. Paul Charters

    Oh gods...

    Why is it that every time I turn around people are trying to find new ways to share every bit of data, but not protect people from those who can abuse it?

    Seriously - people LIE. They will smile to your face and take everything they can when your back is turned. There is no 'good chap' mentality. People aren't 'sound'. They are criminal and sneaky, and it's a dog-eat-dog world.

    The people who tend to make these deals or make these agreements really don't understand that we have it nice in this country, when compared to others. So many of the British are polite or upstanding (despite what the panic-mongering media will tell you) and these people just don't understand that in so many other places the simple principle is 'screw everyone if you possibly can'.

  24. Gordon Pryra

    If this data is any use

    Then people already have it.

    Every "secure database" is wide open to the contractors who work on it.

    If I were a foreign power trying to get these details, I would have already had them in a far easier to access format than DVLA are offering.

    (I would probably also have been paid for 3 weeks work by DVLA into the bargain)

    DVLA are not giving anything away that hasn't already been taken

  25. Nigel Callaghan
    Thumb Down

    Not practical?

    So they say a gatekeeper is 'not practical'? Why not? Given that the access can ONLY be for "serious crime, terrorism and illegal immigration" investigations (and so we're not talking thousands a day here) then it's totally practicable to route all enquiries via an appropriate office in the Met.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Continental Europe

    Continental Europe has always been attracted to authoritarian regimes throughout its history. This is true regardless of whether a given regime is democratically elected, as it is cultural and reflected in the EU Charter. The idea that you should have aspects of your life private is anathema to the EU. Get used to it.

  27. Matt Bradley

    Bass ackwards

    Once, total comprehension fail seems to behind this implementation of a fairly simple principal.

    The purpose of this access is to allow EU authorities to enforce traffic violations EU wide. Fine. Seems reasonable

    Instead of just giving world + dog access to the database electronically, why not just allow member states to issue violation notices electronically, to be forwarded electronically to the relevant EU members nation for enforcement via their (still private and therefore more secure) national registration database?

    As the meerkat says... "Simples"

    ... Which is why government will NEVER do it that way: obvious and simple != government policy

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Damned funny...

    This is EXACTLY the same data that the DVLA was paranoid about last time I worked there. They were so paranoid that data was not even allowed to be moved on physical media from one secure machine room to another without two change requests and two machine room access requests (and also an operations team escort!) And this is by people who are SC cleared!

    It took me a week to move some fix and config information (fix and config! Not even personal information) from one test environment to the live environment, when the machine rooms were a short walk from each other.

    And Gordon Pryra, the contractors themselves need checked and approved change requests to bulk-unload data. The networks are air-gapped and firewalled, and it really is difficult to move data around without the powers that be gawping over your shoulder in one way or another. USB keys are banned or tracked and the ports disabled, and they have physically removed or disabled writable floppy, cd and dvd drives from many of the systems. Systems are supposed to be installed with read-only optical devices, and the post room prevents media being sent out through the post without appropriate clearence. All the time, you can be searched by security (and they do do it), and they confiscate and quarantine unauthorized devices. I'm not saying it is impossible, but it's not like the contractors all carry around a copy of the entire DVLA database set in their pockets.

    Not surprisingly, it takes three-to-five times longer to do things there!

    But now, it seams, some dodgy bureaucrat in a previously eastern block country will be able to get the data without scrutiny. Great. Feels like I ought to start voting UKIP.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "A long time ago I saw an episode of "The Bill" whose plot hinged on access logs. If I remember correctly, even access to the access log was logged..."

    Er, anyone for an infinite regress? Although I imagine the storage industry would be overjoyed.

    As for The Bill, I long ago realised that the UK police authorities had taken it over and turned all its scripts into advertisements for their view of the world. Accordingly, all policepeeps are either hard-nosed rough diamonds with hearts of gold, or touchy-feely women (mostly) with hearts of gold. As soon as an ickle child goes missing, everyone is standing around listening to a Henry V speech by the intrepid superintendent before diving into an open-ended orgy of permanent overtime. And the most important question that ever gets asked in the Sun Hill interview rooms is, "How did you feel...?"

    How very different from the working life of our own dear (real) police, as documented in such spirited accounts as those of David Copperfield, Inspector Gadget, and Ellie Bloggs. According to those actual coppers, a typical police station with a staff of say 60 normally has at most half a dozen officers out on the streets doing what the rest of us consider "police work", while the rest sit around in meetings, contribute to vital "task forces", or fill in paperwork.

  30. Sam 15

    Stop being so negative you lot!

    This can only be a good thing.

    When only one naughty person has all this data for sale he can ask for, and get, a very high price because he has a monopoly.

    Now that lots of people in several countries will have access, the market will determine a fair price for your private data & no-one will be overcharged.

    That's a good thing isn't it?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When will they learn

    all actions in the universe have an equal and opposite reaction. The UK nation hurtles into armageddon, lead by the 3 horsemen of the Apocalypse namely the DVLA, Doctors and Politicians.

    The nation is so fragmented now, and so set against each other, that the UK is easily open to attacks from foreign nations, and quite likely to implode in on itself without intervention.

    It is not going to end well for the UK, but then it was always been heading that way. There is no honour, integrity, or justice in the UK. I have been in nearly every social circle it has, and all of it is lacking and without virtue, it is just a plague of rats. Shame, such potential in this isle, but wasted by petty bickering, ignorance and inflated egos.

  32. Whatithink

    Stop with the little Englander xenophobia

    The dodgy bureaucrats are in Britain. They've already got the data and they're already misusing it. All my experience has been that their continental equivalents and more honest, more decent and an awful lot more intelligent. I'm worried about what the DVLA might do with this data, not the Bulgarians.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Labour

    Anybody else noticed that in the New world socialist paradise in which we now live the weather has been absolutely dreadful. Under Mrs T. and Jolly John we seemed to get some nice summers, and dryer winters. Since Tony took over all it seems to do is rain, apart from 2004 which seemed to be starting a new meteorological trend....... but back to normal service by the next year. Oh well. Just a thought.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Oh Really..?

      Co-incidental then that an increasingly chaotic moisture carrying atmosphere has any relationship to the massive increase in private vehicle emissions incurred since certain politicians (pandering to their industrialist pals profits) decided to instigate large scale road building and push the limitless "freedoms" of private vehicle ownership without a second thought to creating an oil dependent transport network powered by heating the air through burning.

      All that extra moisture in the atmosphere wouldn't have anything to do with the glaciers / icecaps retreating would it?

      Do you begin to see the patterns now we join up the dots for you?

      1. Jeff Deacon

        Even more fail

        AC @20:04, you can't have been reading the emails etc, can you? If you still believe (in AGW) after the release of all the proof that the Climate Change lot have been making up their data to fit their theory (and its not just the CRU at UEA, but the Australians and the Kiwis have been caught out fudging their data too); if you still believe, then you are joining up the wrong set of dots.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          As much as I'd like to buy the AGW conspiracy theorists allegations they are yet to offer any convincing science?

          Also I've spoken to a number of elderly Sherpas who have spent their lives above 4-5k meters in the himalaya and they will tell you of glaciers retreating. Their evidence is backed by photography that clearly shows how in the last 30years the glacial ice has melted.

          Thinking that the consequences of mankinds actions have no relationship to the environment in which we live is naive and frankly wishful thinking.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Oh, I believe

          ...having been seeing for myself the effects of acid rain, many times. Maybe the glaciers are melting because of natural climate change, but there've been ample signs, for decades, that our emissions are fucking everything up. You think the increased asthma the closer you live to main roads and urban areas is made up? You think what LA has looked like since at least the 1960s is a mere bagatelle?

          If some scientists have been falsifying data, i.e. having been a little too weak and fell for 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em', that does not mean we're not going to hell in a handcart on account of pollution, destroying the rain forests and concreting over as many fields as we can get some banker to pay for.

  34. MrHorizontal

    As usual, the left arms doesn't know what the right is doing...

    Cross-reference to the Data Protection Act, and see the repercussions of any personal data being sold for marketing purposes. This elephant won't fly.

  35. ElFatbob

    @AC mossad comments moron

    'I gave you a link on Dispatches investigation of Israels attempts to control UK politics. '

    A programme which could have been made about any number of minority special interest groups. How do you think the fox-hunting ban came in or why have 'rights' of various minority groups have been aggressively implemented above those of the majority? Why was freedom of speech nearly scuppered (or rather nearly completely scuppered, as Labour has made a pretty good job of doing) regarding expression of religious views (including non/anti religious)?

    Yeh, not out of some sense of 'justice' on the part of our polictical class, but as the result of well organised, well funded political pressure groups.

    What you should be worried about is the fact that the state of our political system allows it to happen and if you want conspiracy fodder, then why not investigate how this government (+ previous administrations) has sold us out to the implementation of a EU wide soviet style superstate.

    Meanwhile, away back and carry on reading 'The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion'.

    Final thoughts on this are that:

    1) It's not surprising - the EU treaties and conventions that we've signed are going to require us to share all this information (that's right, these are the bits they won't tell you about)

    2) The UK government must be kicking itself after realising that instead of selling your details to criminals (car clamping firms etc), they've agreed to foreign middle men helping themselves THEN selling them onto criminals. Just think of all the lovely data they've missed out on pimping..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Israel mossad morons

      "A programme which could have been made about any number of minority special interest groups."

      Yes Israel/Mossad was *illustrative* of the problem, not the only instance of that problem. I chose to focus on that as an example, because the opposing viewpoint was so keen to NOT use that as the example. Yet it's a valid example of an foreign power with a history on mining data trying to control UK politics and so makes a good example. motive + form + opportunity.

      "the EU treaties and conventions that we've signed are going to require us to share all this information"

      I blame Barrosso, there have some truly great EU leaders, protecting the rights of individuals, and there's been Barrosso. Whatever any crackpot leader wants, he's right there to give them it. He objects to nothing, agrees with everything and muddles along.

      Whether it was Biometric ID cards, pushed by the UK Presidency

      Or that Call Record Retention, demanded by, well UK Tony Blair. Barosso IMHO has not been good for Europe, indeed I believe his actions are the main reason nobody wanted the constitution.

      In this case, he should have put the 'claim' as to why the country wanted it, and way to monitor and punish misuse.... It's somewhat naive to imagine that it would never be misused!

  36. Jonathan

    @tony72 @Lee

    "I'm surprised that a bored cop who is actively looking for people to bust, would pass up the opportunity to make my day worse."

    ah.. you seem to be making the assumption that the police officer had an understanding of the law. i read last year of WPC who decided that no crime had been commited as a robber had only tried to steal someone's handbag but had not actually suceeded and the sent the would be robber on their way without so much as a stern warning or disappoving look.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Why all the hysteria..?

    So its fair then that someone from the Channel Islands can bring their car over to the mainland on the ferry and not have to worry about paying the congestion charge, running red lights or similar traffic violations because their registration database isn't linked to the mainland?

    Or the migrant workers from eastern europe who drive their car back from a club at 120mph knowing that the speeding ticket will never arrive?

    I don't suppose the DVLA are completely stupid. They haven't offshored the database to India/China/Pakistan yet? Such a system will surely have security built in. Why would an API expose a nation's driver database anyway? Wouldn't it look more like (much simplified) -

    $loggingAPIClient->Process(action => "driverCheck","reg" => "XXX-00-XXX", "driverSurname" => "XXXXX");

    $loggingAPIClient->SendResponse("reponseMsg" => "validDriver","driverId" => "XXX-0000-XX-XX);

    $loggingAPIClient->Process(action => "issueTicket","sendingCountry" => "FR", "driverId" => "XXX-0000-XX-XX", violation" => "speeding", "penalty" => "150euro");

    btw - I haven't owned a car for 10+ years and hate driving. Private car ownership was never meant to scale. The additional revenue from this system can go towards investing in clean, efficient mass transport networks. I for one would be happy to pickup the consulting fee for helping the DVLA to implement their European API.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Why all the hysteria..?

      "So its fair then that someone from the Channel Islands can bring their car over to the mainland on the ferry and not have to worry about paying the congestion charge"

      Yes there are valid uses for it, but then the data sharing doesn't check or limit the data to those uses. Hence this story hypothesizing ways it could be misused because of the lack of mechanisms by which it could be checked, monitored, or abuse corrected.

      What surprises me, is that the driver and car data goes from Country A to Country B, rather than the FINE data from Country B to Country A. So why not just send the fine data to Romania and let them collect the fine on the UK behalf?? You trust them with your citizens data, but they don't trust you to collect the fine? It doesn't seem right somehow.

  38. Jeff Deacon
    Big Brother

    "The NPIA, a technology quango linked to the Home Office,"

    Let us not forget that while the NPIA might be "linked to the Home Office", it is in fact a wholly owned subsidiary of ACPO Ltd. ACPO Ltd claims to be in "EQUAL partnership with government" (see, so the link to the Home Office is rather tenuous at best. ACPO Ltd is a company limited by guarantee, set up that way in order to evade the Freedom of Information Act (see the reasons why they refuse FoI requests unless it suits them, on their web site).

  39. Anonymous Coward

    And which of the opposition parties bothered informing the public at the time?

    "Dominic Grieve, the shadow justice minister, said the NPIA report showed ministers had misled the public when they signed the Convention" after he woke up and remembered there was something he had forgotten to do. Or not, since the opposition want exactly the same thing - more power, more control, more evidence to "prove" an individual is guilty of something.

    And Dominic, et al, the word isn't "misled", its LIED, which, when LYING to Parliament constitutes TREASON, and used to be one of the reasons why people's heads ended up on poles outside the Tower of London.

    Ah, the good old days. Unfortunately, these days, there'd be too few poles. Which is ironic, since the last I heard, there aren't ;)

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ooo Baby Do You Know What That's Worth

    Labour has Made Hell a Place on Earth.

    They Say in Hell that Labour comes First.

    Labour has Made Hell a Place on Earth

    When You Are Sailing on the High Seas

    Labour Comes Along and Scuppers Yee

    When You Are Working Hard

    Labour Comes Along and Taxes You.

    In this World We Are Just Beginning to Discover, How Corrupt the Labour Lot Are

    Wrapped Up in a Web of Labour Hate

    Ooo Baby Do You Know What That's Worth.

    Labour Has Made Hell a Place on Earth.

    Labour Has Made Hell a Place on Earth.

  41. Scott 19

    Looking for

    A Company that can give me to identitys, one private that my friends and family now and one for the guberment and all its DB.

    Willing to pay a couple of grand?

  42. ElFatbob

    Re: Eh? by AC

    'As much as I'd like to buy the AGW conspiracy theorists allegations they are yet to offer any convincing science?'

    So that would be similar to the Climate Change scientists, then?

    After all, they refuse to release their data & their methodology. They are only prepared to peer review papers from scientists whose viewpoints match their own and they actively smear those holding a dissenting viewpoint. So we have a closed body of about 40 scientists deciding the science (yes, deciding, not empirically proving).

    The recent CRU leaked / hacked information shows comments in the CRU's modelling program code (used to make these predictive models) where the programmer clearly highlights missing raw data, fudging of calculations and the description of whole new algorithms being written because they provide results closer to those 'expected'.

    Add to that the now well discredited 'hockey stick' graph and you call this convincing science?

    And watch how the debate is subtley changing now that the advocates of global disaster are on the back foot - it's not about 'global warming' anymore, it's about 'climate change', you know, that thing the earth has done cyclically since who knows when....

    If you are in any doubt about the real drivers for this, look at the sham that is Copenhagen. All the squabbling is about money. If they actually thought it was real and wanted to do something about it, they would.

  43. Sally 4

    On the case

    You'll be gald to hear that I forwarded this article to my MP. He has forwarded it to the Information Commissioner and asked if the government actually bothered to discuss this with the ICO before signing up. I'll keep you posted...

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