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Drivers' details to be made secure

19 December 2007

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has outlined plans to end the transport of sensitive data by courier, following the latest loss of personal details.

The personal records of three million learner drivers were lost in Iowa, USA, where they were being taken to be backed up on a computer system.

It follows the earlier loss of two discs in transit between the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) offices in Northern Ireland and the DVLA in Swansea, which contained the details of 7500 people.

In a statement, Kelly admitted that there were risks associated with the transfer of data by disc, tape or hard disc-drive.

She said: 'The DVLA has created a new link to provide regular information to the police by electronic transmission.

'After a short period of testing, the present arrangements - which involve the transfer of tapes by secure courier - will cease.

'I have asked my Permanent Secretary to work with Agency chief executives to accelerate other plans for further transfer of data electronically, wherever this is reasonable and cost-effective.'

She also said that the databases held by the DVLA and the DVA would be merged.

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