OFFICIALS at the South Wales-based Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency yesterday admitted sending personal details of more than 1,000 drivers to the wrong people by mistake in another government data security lapse.
The drivers’ details released in error contained names, addresses, dates of birth, licence numbers and records of their previous motoring offences. It comes weeks after HM Revenue and Customs mislaid two CDs containing personal details of 25 million people leading to fears of identity theft.
But officials at the giant licensing centre which employs 5,000 people at Morriston, Swansea, insisted last night no financial details were given out.
The accidental release of the private details was due to “a handling error” in the centre’s dispatch department, the DVLA said. And last night, DVLA chief executive Noel Shanahan said the problem was not a computer fault and “definitely due to human error”.
An inquiry had begun into what happened, he said.
The problem came to light as part of a routine survey to update the agency’s records.
A spokesman for the agency said, “As a result, some of the 1,215 drivers contacted as part of the survey received details not related to them.
“The details referred to are name, address, date of birth, licence number and a record of motoring offences. No financial information was included.
“The error was discovered within 48 hours of the letters being posted and DVLA took immediate action. We are contacting all 1,215 customers written to as part of the survey to advise them of the error, apologise unreservedly and discuss its implications.
“A dedicated telephone line (0800 085 2333) is also available to those customers affected.
“As a precautionary measure, a note has been placed on all 1,215 records on the DVLA database to prevent any fraudulent activity being attempted on that record.”