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TfL Outsourcing To Give Foreign Access To UK Driver Data

A new scheme has been proposed by Transport for London (TfL) whereby DVLA data on UK drivers and vehicles will be accessible by foreign contractors working on London's congestion charge.

The sensitive data, which includes the likes of names, addresses and registration plate details, will still be stored in the UK, but will be made available on a "controlled" basis to outsourced contractors.

IBM, which handles the congestion charge contract, is outsourcing some technical support roles in an effort to save TfL around £7 million per year.

A DVLA spokesman told the Register: "A proposal by TfL is being considered in relation to its congestion charge scheme which will allow limited and strictly controlled access to information from abroad, but this will not extend to any offshore storage of personal data or other sensitive information."

"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."

However, coming hot on the heels of this week's Sunday Times story about corrupt Indian call centre staff selling off data on UK citizens, even including credit card details, the move is unlikely to be seen in a particularly secure light.

Not only is there the potential for leaks and fraud, but also the likely cost to British jobs which means the outsourcing scheme won't be gaining much in the way of electoral approval.