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    IBM moves access to UK drivers’ private data offshore to datacentre in India


    The IBM will access their personal data in UK’s 43 million drivers to an Indian data center to cut costs, the UK government agreed. THe IBM runs London’s congestion charge system. The observer revealed that the secret move comes after IBM lobbied Transport for London. The IBM has been fined repeatedly since it took over the contract from Capita in 2009, making the £60m deal less profitable than it had hoped. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency data that includes car registration numbers, addresses and credit card details. The data will be accessible to staff outside the UK for the first time.

    The move has not been publicly announced that it appears neither IBM nor DVLA were planning to tell anyone about it. The move was approve even though the IBM risk assessment warned of the risk to the security of sensitive data and a potential threat to London’s reputation if the changes reduce the ability of staff to deal with the problems in the congestion zone IT systems. The observer stated that the moved also appears to contradict minsters’ recent insistence that they would resist any work on the government contracts going abroad.

    In India, the transition is scheduled for completion. The TFL stressed that the data will still be stored in the UK. According to Labor MP John McDonnell the decision to offshore access to the sensitive information database will not only cost jobs, however it will also open up vast opportunities for fraud.

    The spokesperson stated that all IT systems must bust managed to the same standard as if they were in the UK. They will ensure that all appropriate controls for data protection are in place. The OCS general secretary Mark Serwotka called for an immediate halt to a consultant by the DVLA to close its 39 registration and enforcement offices in the UK, to centralize operations in Swansea.

    Serwotka stated that they are doubtful that it’s mere coincidence comes as the DVLA  is planning to close the offices and they fear it could pave the way for further privatization and offshoring of DVLA services. The government should call an immediate halt to the DVLA’s plans and ministers should explain to MPs and the public exactly what has happened and what are the implications. He also said that the threat to people’s jobs and livelihoods, there are serious questions about the security of the personal information the company holds and  has access to and if the transport secretary has indeed signed this off they need to know why, given that it appears to be at odds with the commitment of cabinet colleague.