HC Deb 25 March 2003 vol 402 c115W
Harry Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many names and addresses of vehicle(a) owners and (b) keepers have been disclosed over the last two years by the DVLA to a third party by virtue of that party showing reasonable cause for the disclosure; and if he will make a statement on (i) the number of cases where disclosure was made but was subsequently shown to be not for a reasonable cause and (ii) the action taken in such cases. [104522]

Mr. Jamieson

The DVLA vehicle register is a record of vehicle keepers—the person responsible for paying vehicle excise duty. It does not contain details of the person who actually owns the vehicle. The number of reasonable cause' enquiries resulting in the disclosure of keeper details during the last two years is as follows:

2001–02 937,125
2002–03 779,559

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.

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 Commissioner to investigate. Two such cases were referred in the past year.