The DVLA is still letting visitors to its website find out if their neighbours are claiming certain disability benefits, in spite of assuring the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that it is no longer doing so after the ICO held that “releasing this information unnecessarily reveals the personal circumstances of individuals using their vehicle”. The DVLA vehicle check service is now receiving over 1.5 million visitors a month.
At the beginning of July we warned readers that a new vehicle check service on the DVLA website allows visitors to find out whether their neighbours, friends or relatives are receiving the higher rate of the mobility component of disability living allowance (DLA) or either rate of the mobility component of personal independence payment (PIP).
We argued that disclosing this information was a breach of the data protection laws. Initially, DVLA denied that this was the case.
However, after multiple complaints to DVLA and the ICO by Benefits and Work readers it seems that DVLA have now quietly made changes to their site. Unfortunately, we have been contacted by several members already to say that the changes have made no difference.
It appears that the tax class category has now been removed from the DVLA look-up service.
But at the top of the screen there is an entry entitled:
Vehicle excise duty rate for the vehicle.
For people in the disabled tax class this, we understand that this states:
12 month rate: £0.00
In other words, it is still possible to work out who’s claiming disability benefits from this website.
Read the rest of the article on the Benefits and Work website.
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