back to article UK drivers' privates fondled overseas in new outsource plan

Transport for London (TfL) has proposed that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's (DVLA) vehicle keeper data - which includes names, addresses and registration plate numbers - should be accessed outside the UK by contractors working on the capital's congestion charge scheme. The congestion charge is run by IBM, which was …


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  1. xyz
    Devil they try to organise a piss up in a brewery. The ****ers are useless just now, so I suppose this might help. fnar, fnar.

    Just wait 'til you start getting NIPs 'cos some bloke in Bangalore has given your RK details to his cousin Sanjay in Brum.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's all we need

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ha ha

      strictly limited access? Storage remains in this country?

      Obviously proposed by someone who has no idea whatsoever, must be a government minister of some description who failed his basic computer user course.

      1. LarsG

        Re: ha ha

        It gets even better.

        "We are seeking appropriate assurances that it will not be possible for the data to be printed, copied or amended in any way when it is accessed from abroad."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wrong issue

      "should be accessed outside the UK by contractors working on the capital's congestion charge scheme"

      No, when setting the scheme up, TFL should have specified that all data access must be from within the UK for security porpoises. That way it is good for the employment of people (and porpoises) in the UK, and if it costs a bit more to do it that way, deduct the cost of payment of unemployment benefit for the UK based folk from your calculation and then look again.

      Makes you weep.

  2. Pen-y-gors

    no printing?

    ...never heard of cameras then? Or screen logging software?

    1. xyz

      Re: no printing?

      or PrtScn or a bit of paper and a pencil

    2. Vic

      Re: no printing?

      > never heard of cameras then?

      Precisely. The only way to make the data uncopiable is to make it unviewable.

      I copied boot information[1] off an ATM last night. With the camera on my phone. Said ATM didn't need a printer attached, and I didn't need an app running on it...


      [1] It was a Pentium 3 / 700MHz with a gig of RAM. And it runs[2] OS/2 Warp.

      [2] When I say "runs", I actually mean "continually starts and then crashes after a few minutes"[3]

      [3] While my card was inside. And the cheques I was depositing. Grrr.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Selling Britain By The Pound

    Oh great. Is there no end to the malfeasance of our Masters?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Selling Britain By The Pound

      Brilliant choice of title; the first thing that went through my mind after reading the article (OK, the second but yours was less rude).

      And no, their malfeasance, like their egos, is limitless.

  4. Citizen Kaned

    what could possibly go wrong with giving away all our data? <facepalm>

    1. Keep Refrigerated

      All your data are belong to us

      Well it just means that instead of being found on a disk/laptop of a train in Waterloo Station, London; it will be Penn Station, New York.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They may have seen my license plate many times, but they (as yet) don't know who I am as I live in a country that is not known for exchanging data for nebulous purposes. And as I don't want them to have that data I have so far always paid the congestion charge in cash. Seems that I was right to do so..

    1. frank ly

      re. " far always paid the congestion charge in cash."

      Right, that's you on the database of suspicious people then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re. " far always paid the congestion charge in cash."

        Yup. I *am* Spartacus :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re. " far always paid the congestion charge in cash."

        I pay for EVERYTHING in cash, I don't trust the credit card companies as far as I can throw them :P

  6. Da Weezil

    Its simple. Contracts like this should require that functions remian in the UK. My details should NOT be available on any system maintained or admined from outside of the UK where indivduals are removed from UK standards of investigation and law enforcement.

    Statutory functions like this, and personal taxation/benefits should never be allowed near overseas operators at eny level. No wonder we have so much unemployment - the only export boom we have is in jobs!

    1. Andy Fletcher


      Data protection considerations aside, any money generated from this farcical scheme should damn well stay in this country where it belongs.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Private Parking Companies

    If you don't think DVLA will pull off your information for a nominal fee for any old thug or spiv, think again. Private Parking Companies pass them a little £2.50 sweetener every time they want access to the RK details.

    As for Swansea, since 2002 there have been multiple projects automating many of the vehicle and driver processes successfully delivering the benefits of their business cases.....except the very last part where staffing levels can be reduced because the make-work scheme that is the DVLA seems powerless to do that.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another plan by Boris.

    It's just another plan to get rid of cars in London.

    Give away data, allow to be slurped abroad, details get stolen, makes big news, people then refuse to drive in London.


    Just another reason not to vist.

    1. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

      Re: Another plan by Boris.

      As it's almost always quicker to walk or use public transport in London, it baffles my why anyone should want a car there anyway.

  9. micheal

    I like this bit

    He added that all the DVLA's data is stored in the UK and there are no plans to change this, and IT systems will have to be managed to the same standards as if they were in the UK.

    "We will ensure that all appropriate controls for data protection are in place, and will continue to be in place. These controls are independently validated and approved in line with government information security requirements and procedures," he said

    SO expect to find unencrypted data on CD's, Mem Sticks and printed off in wads at the local Bangalore bus and taxi ranks

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I like this bit

      They don't lose encrypted disks in Bangalore. They are far too valuable. They sell them.

      You just can't make this shit up can you?

  10. Blofeld's Cat


    Somebody should tell TPTB that there saving money is less important than getting good value for the money they already pay out.

    £7m is not a huge amount in the context of this contract*, and will give the negotiators something to talk about when it's time for renewal.

    *In other contexts £7m is a lot of money.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death of a thousand cuts

    We're all just supposed to nod sagely over our frapochocolatteciono deluxes and think "wow, this is so clever, why didn't anyone come up with it before?" and thank our ConDem blue sky thinkers for the opportunity to be rogered senseless sans lubrication one more bloody time. The only thing as inevitable as this going horribly wrong (like its 8742 spiritual predecessors) is BorisCameroClegg getting booted come polling day and the UK getting a terrible bunch of Twatdangles voted in instead of the incumbent terrible Twatdangles.

    "We are seeking appropriate assurances that it will not be possible for the data to be printed, copied or amended in any way when it is accessed from abroad."

    Yeah, fuckwits, it really work like that doesn't it?

  12. JimmyPage

    Yet another instance

    where TPTB come up with some fruit loop idea, an uproar ensures, where the pitfalls are pointed out, then ignored, and then in 5 years time, when all the predictions are proved correct, some useless twat of a politician will go on TV and say "who'd have thunk it, we had no idea this could happen."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yet another instance

      You forgot "I'm sorry".

      Because that is all it takes when you do something wrong as an MP (even breaking the law it seems) and the sun comes out and shines on you again.

      For the rest of us, we get to have a criminal record and end up on some register of undesirables so we can never work again.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Yet another instance

        Not only "I'm sorry", but also "No, I see no reason to return that knighthood"..

  13. Thomas 18
    Thumb Down


    How about spending that on new roads instead

    1. John McCallum

      Re: £600m

      Hmmmm how many yards do you think £600M will get you?

  14. tarner


    Not far off Westminsters ideas for bike parking,

    you get to shout out your credit card details while standing on the street to pay for parking to a foreign call centre,

    Theres no cash alternative - you can only do it by fone,

    If you pay annually and pay the extra for a text reminder they dont send you it and give you a ticket when it expires.......

  15. dotdavid

    Small Correction

    "It also said that no UK jobs, including post with TfL, will be affected."

    ...this month.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A fine example

    I would have thought that the government would want to set a good example to business and the public sector in terms of how to maximise security of information.

    Reading that "...Cabinet Office approved the offshoring of a number of IBM technical support roles which requires access to UK held data" made me realise how naive I am.

    If the Cabinet Office says this sort of thing is OK, then why should any of the rest give a shit?

  17. MrXavia

    It makes you wonder whether they actually have brains inside those skulls?

    No wonder our economy is in the toilet, the inmates are running the asylum!

    Its like the stupid decision to buy trains from Germany when we build them in the UK, don't they realize that keeping people employed improves the economy, that in turn means more tax revenue meaning over the life of the project, keeping it in the UK is financially better.

    It just goes to show that the decision makers can't handle the information..

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't fuggin drive in London anyway

    Like the majority of UK drivers I don't drive in London (certainly not in the congestion zone) so what's it got to do with me? Still - can't be long before some starry eyed metropolitan council outside of London decides it wants its own congestion zone.

    TFL != DVLA

    The other correspondent's right about the spivs and crooks running private car parks. They're probably already selling on what they bought.

  19. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    US company = PATRIOT Act access to anyone with a badge.

    Or for "national security" purposes anyone without.

    And BTW WTF is the contractor needing with *live* data in development anyway?

    This should be good for a few FOI requests.

  20. phuzz Silver badge

    missing the point

    You're all missing the point, this will actually mean MORE jobs, because the only way to stop the data being copied is to have a guard or two stood behind everyone that's accessing the data to make sure they don't make a copy.

    And obviously these guards will have to be pretty well trained so as to notice sneaky CTRL-C's etc.

    See, they're actually going to be growing the job market :)

    1. Vic

      Re: missing the point

      > this will actually mean MORE jobs

      In Bangalore.

      > have a guard or two stood behind everyone that's accessing the data

      Guess which country those guards need to be in...


  21. david 63

    DPA principle no 8

    I suppose it is up for dispute that looking at data wherever it is stored is transfer.

    There's a limited number of countries that are compliant. India isn't one of them.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "should be accessed outside the UK by contractors working on the capital's congestion charge scheme"

    So the big, and imo only, question here is why are govt agencies using public funds to pay companies in foreign countries to do sensitive work when we have a liquidity and employment crisis?

    The whole outsourcing thing is a huge betrayal of your country.

    1) We don't have much money in circulation, wtf are people doing sending it all abroad and out of the UK economic eco-system?

    2) We're short of jobs why isn't the govt thinking to give some to residents in all it's grand plans to introduce Victorian style labour regs which even the greedy super companies think are a disgrace.

    but for the IT angle:

    3) Given the monumental f-up that is UK govt IT at every turn how can they have the front to say they want to expand the scope for data loss/theft?

    1. FredScummer

      It's a choice thing really. Taxpayers money (public funds) being used to pay overseas workers who make zero contribution to the UK. Or the same money being used to prop up gold-plated public sector pensions which the UK cannot afford.

      Incidentally, it isn't all taxpayers money being used. Activities such as selling cherished number plates can actually create revenue and be profitable. The problem comes where those profits are being earned outside of the UK, and in that respect I'm not in favour of DVLA work being outsourced.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. ad2apps

    Say NO to Offshore

    These f***ers are useless anyway . There should be some tightening of Uk data protection laws to stop OUR personal data from being accessed by foreign nationals. BT are one of those were they have call centres in Bangalore these people are useless not one person I know thinks offshore call centres are good thing !. Just to illustrate the point I had to explain for about 20 mins to one of them what a gas pipe was !.

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