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Vehicle owners' personal information exploited

Sandra Goudie MP National Party Consumer Affairs Spokeswoman

15 June 2005

Vehicle owners' personal information exploited

Commercial use of confidential information supplied by the Government seriously jeopardises the privacy and personal security of registered vehicle owners, says National's Consumer Affairs spokeswoman, Sandra Goudie.

Ms Goudie is commenting on the commercial abuse of private consumer information available from the Motor Vehicle Register.

The information is available on the LTSA Motochek website where the details of up to 1000 registered vehicle owners can be obtained overnight. Such information can include phone numbers, email addresses and residential particulars.

More than 5.5 million queries were lodged with the register in last 12 months and 88% of these were from commercial customers.

"Data marketers who subscribe to Motochek are using sophisticated software that runs automated enquiries on a series of up to 1000 plate numbers, which are then requested from the database," says Ms Goudie.

"Data marketers are simply mining the details of consumers and in many cases they are on-selling the information to other commercial organisations."

Registered vehicle owners may request a confidential listing, but this requires owners to satisfy the registrar that the release of the information would prejudice their privacy or personal safety.

"Despite the fact that the Labour Government is aware of this commercial abuse nothing has been done to fix the problem.

"It is unacceptable that private information is being commercially exploited," says Ms Goudie.

ENDS

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