Monday, 24 July 2017

Parking Awareness Services to pay £400 for DPA breach against motorist. DVLA confirm data cannot be passed to MIL Collections

Mr S v PAS. D2QZ229J. Barnsley. 24/07/2017


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. 
Yours Sincerely,
David Dunford.
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.

Preliminary hearing

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 ".

The hearing 

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.

Prankster Notes

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.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. "Where the sun don't shine Mr. Mainwaring, where the sun don't shine"

  2. and are the BPA going to issue sanction points per every case of using data and breaking DVLA agreement , are the DVLA going to ban them ?
    oh look , a flying pig!

  3. They won't want to rock the gravy train.

    1. the "law" was not written by "bisto"

    2. Mixed metaphor alert. You can either rock the boat, or derail the gravy train.

  4. It is great to see details of a DPA win. Are there grounds for a claim against MIL as well? I hope Mr. S has used some of the £400 to frame the letter from Mr. Dunford.
    Seeing as PAS appears to be engaged in a common practice, I suggest that it would be prudent for the DVLA to send an alert to all KADOE customers to remind them that they cannot transfer debts and keeper's details to third parties in this way. The DVLA's failure to do so could end up being a DPA breach in and of itself.

  5. Unless MIL are taken to task they will just continue in the same old way.
    It's inexcusable for the DVLA to say " 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. " This is a disgraceful situation and the DVLA need a damn good shake up.

    There was a clear breach in the same manner as a driver would be taken to task for non compliance to a parking condition. Breaches cannot be mitigated by poor understanding of the law, and the ICO should step in here to kick arses. Both the DVLA, MIL and PAS.

    A letter to your MP should be sent for comment, albeit the answer probably won't be fruitful.

  6. Respond to DVLA as follows and see what they say!

    "So, the next time I forget to tax my vehicle, will you let me off because it was unintentional?"

  7. Good win. Typical cowardly avoidance of a court appearance by Wild. But a £400 'slap' is little more than a minor business expense, especially when compared to the likely money they will rake in just a few days later from the naive and terminally ignorant, thinking that they've incurred some kind of statutory penalty.

  8. My friend had a PCN thing from Euro car parks concerning an alleged "Failure to adhere to signage on site." at Farnborough Hospital 21/01/2015.
    After a period of nothing, She just received some letters from Zenith Collections, begging for money (£120 reduced to £75).
    Is this case also a possible DPA breach?

    1. Fairly standard position for many motorists. Your friend would need a court to decide in his/her favour to get anywhere near starting a DPA claim against the parking company. As things stand, the parking company have the initiative as to whether this gets to a court stage.

      For your friend to wrest the initiative away from the parking company, they would need to be fully aware of all the issues surrounding a breach of the DPA and be able to forcibly take a proactive action against them. It's not a case of turning up at court and assume the Judge will jump in on their side to berate the parking company.

      Can any of the forums help - PePiPoo, CAG, MSE, Parking Cowboys, NoToMob, Private Parking Appeals Ltd? There seem to be people there who know what they're talking about.