Would you trust the government with your data?

Fascinating post by James Cridland, who asked to see what data the Driving Standards Agency (the outfit which lost the most recent batch of confidential information) holds on him.

There’s an interesting sting in the tail.

Let’s return to “Trading/Sharing in Personal Information”. The register says who can receive this information – which specifically includes “personal details, financial details, offences, criminal proceedings”. Here’s a few…

Police forces, central government, local government, employees and agents of the data controller, department of health, department for education and employment, the media…

The MEDIA?!?!!!

It seems that the Department of Transport can, if they wish, let any media organisation in the UK or the EEA know my driving licence details, including my financial information. Anyone in the media can know whether I got a speeding fine in 1997 for doing 42 in a non-built-up, badly-signed 30-zone. (I did. But I have a clean licence now.)

This is big stuff. And I wonder what the definition of “the media” is, in this context. Am *I* the media, running a blog that has more readers than many small magazines? Am I able to request this data on someone I know?