DVLA data governance car crash fuels mailing cock-up

dvlaThe DVLA’s data governance has been called into question after it has been forced to apologise to a Sussex woman after sending her a letter addressed to “Dear multiple sclerosis Caron Garrod”.
The cock-up is not only highly embarrassing for the transport agency, it also breaches privacy laws as medical information is classed as “sensitive personal data” under the Data Protection Act 1998.
The issue arose when Garrod, who lives in Goring-by-Se, a re-applied for her driving licence at the beginning of last month. When she did not receive a response, she phoned the DVLA call centre to enquire about her application and it was during this call she told a contact centre agent about her medical condition.
The DVLA has apologised and promised an urgent investigation. A spokeswoman told the BBC: “While mistakes like this are very rare, we are extremely sorry for any distress caused.
“We take the security of our data very seriously and we are investigating this as a matter of urgency to ensure lessons are learned.”
However, Garrod said she was shocked the agency could be so “insensitive and negligent” to allow the balls-up to happen, adding that at first she felt angry and then horrified “when I realised it had gone all the way through the postal system”.
She added: “I’m quite a robust person mentally but there are many people with medical conditions who would be severely affected by a situation like this…this is just so offensive.”
The ICO said: “Organisations have a legal duty to ensure that they protect people’s personal information, particularly when it is sensitive data such as medical information.”

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