On 26th August Mr S had to attend court in Barnsley to defend against a claim from MIL collections.
MIL had claimed to have purchased an unpaid parking charge from Parking Awareness Services, issued for not parking fully within a marked bay.
Mr Alan Davis's witness statement was deemed inadmissible by the judge for non attendance, and the claim was dismissed.
Following the hearing, it emerged that PAS had no right to sell any parking charges to MIL Collections, because this was against the terms of their KADOE contract with the DVLA. The DVLA confirmed this in a letter to Mr S.
Dear Mr S.
I am writing in regards to your letter regarding PAS and MIL Collections .
i apologise for the delay in responding but DVLA have been considering the matter and the relevant course of action to take.
Firstly, I can confirm that PAS did receive the keeper's details from DVLA and did not seek permission to provide this to a third party who were not acting as a sub contractor.
Having investigated the matter, DVLA has concluded that vehicle keeper data HAS been transferred to a third party that DOES NOT CONFORM to DVLA'S interpretation of a sub contractor as referred to in the KADOE contract. It has been identified that the company concerned has not breached this intentionally but instead believed their processes were in compliance with the KADOE contract. As such , DVLA will not be taking any formal action at this time.
DVLA has made the company aware of this issue and requested that they notify MIL Collections not to continue to process any information obtained from DVLA. MIL Collections have also been made aware of this.
I should mention that DVLA has no control over any data shared that has not been obtained from the Agency i.e if the motorist has provided their own details/driver details. .
I hope this explains the Agency's position.
Data compliance manager.
Mr S. therefore wrote a letter before claim to PAS, explaining they had breached the Data Protections Act (DPA). When they did not respond, he issued a claim for £250.
PAS engaged JMW solicitors, who are the British Parking Association recommended solicitors, to help defend the claim.
A preliminary hearing was held on 1 June. Mr Wild of PAS represented the company. Mr S represented himself. When he was shown the letter from the DVLA investigation clearly stating the data breach, the Judge stated "this is a very relevant piece of evidence ".
Mr S turned up at court but Mr Wild from PAS did not. At 2.30 pm prompt he went in the court where the judge explained he was willing to be persuaded by PAS that they hadn't breached if they could show two separate systems for data processing.
As they didn't turn up it was reasonable to assume they did not have these two systems and in all probability had breached the DPA and so the judge upheld the claim awarding £250 plus costs of £50 for court and filing fees and £100 in other costs.
The judge also pointed out that he could have claimed interest on the damages but as this was not claimed it could not be awarded.
It is not clear why PAS needed 'two separate systems' for data processing, as the claim was that PAS broke the DPA by passing keeper data to MIL Collections.
It may be that this issue would have been explored more fully has PAS turned up. However, as Mr S was awarded the claim, there was no need for him to press the matter.
There have now been three cases on record where motorists have won DPA hearings against parking companies for various reasons. In none of the cases has the parking company as yet turned up to defend themselves. There have been a number of other cases which have been settled out of court.
A large number of parking companies have sold data to MIL Collections, and they therefore could be open to similar data protections claims.
The DVLA are data controllers. It is not know what steps the DVLA have take now or in the past to prevent personal data being misused in this manner.
The Parking Prankster