HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 c770W
Harry Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many names and addresses of vehicle owners and keepers have been disclosed by the DVLA to third parties by virtue of that party showing reasonable cause for the disclosure over the last three years; if he will break down these disclosure statistics by categories of reasonable cause; and if he will make a statement on the number of cases where disclosure has been subsequently shown to be not for a reasonable cause, with the action taken in these cases. [59169]

Mr. Jamieson

I have been asked to reply.

The number of "reasonable cause" inquiries resulting in the release of vehicle keeper details held on the DVLA register during the last three years was:

Year Number
1999–2000 883,522
2000–01 955,484
2001–02 1,001,421

The majority of requests are from insurance companies and finance houses in respect of insurance claims and vehicle-related loan arrangements. The remainder are from solicitors, car parking enforcement companies and members of the public. Statistics relating to specific categories of "reasonable cause" are not recorded.

The information commissioner has powers under the Data Protection Act to prosecute anyone who knowingly or recklessly obtains information without consent. Any disclosure subsequently used for a purpose other than that stated in the application is referred to the information commissioner to investigate. Seventeen such cases in the last three years have been referred to the information commissioner.