Dear Sir or Madam, My name isXXXXX am the Registrar for the Austin 7 Clubs Association, which is an association of 63 clubs and registers in the UK and all over the world. As the A7CA Registrar, I look after the A7CA Surviving Austin 7 Registers, which as of last month there were 11,331 entries which break down into the following individual register, as follows:- •Austin 7s = 10,376, •Austin Big 7s = 555, •American Bantams = 8, •Dixi/BMWs = 368, •Rosengarts = 24. The Registers are available for anyone to see on the A7CA website, www.a7ca.org . Many enthusiasts and restorers find the Registers very useful in verifying details of Austin 7s that they are owning, working on or thinking of buying. The details of the cars that are listed on each register are as follows: Chassis Number, Current Registration Number, Previous Registration Numbers, Engine Number, Car Number (actually a factory number), Body Number, Original Registration Date, Model, Colour, Club(s) that the owner bellows to, Austin 7 Register that is interested in a particular model, Country where the car resides and finally a comments column that contains such information as to when the details were entered, any changes of colour or engine number etc.. If any owner wishes to correct an entry about his or her Austin 7 that is in the Register, or enter an Austin 7 that is not in the Register, they can do so simply by filling in the Notification Form on the Register webpage. We do not ask for any names, but do ask for the email address in case I have a query about the data or want to congratulate the owner on having a NEW OLD AUSTIN 7!!! What the Register does not contain is any indication as to who actually owns any of the cars on the Register. If a previous owner wishes to contact the current owner of a car, because they want to pass on old photos etc., then I first check to see if the entry has a club reference number. If there is no club reference number then the process stops there because it is an historical entry and we no longer know where the car is at all! If there is a club reference number, then I pass the enquiry onto the Secretary of that club, who then passes the enquiry onto the member who is the current owner of the car, and it is then up to the current owner to contact the enquirer or not. Therefore it is no more possible to find from the A7CA Register, who owns a particular Austin 7 than it is to do so via the DVLA website. Yesterday, I received a request to remove the details of one Austin 7 from the Register. This request came to me via the A7CA website Register Notification Form. I replied to the Notification Form, pointing out the purpose of the Register, how useful that many people who use it find it and that it does not revel who owns any of the cars nor where they live. I got the following response:- “Hi Thank you for your reply. I am the new owner of the car and I am a very private person. I keep my affairs to myself. Please delete the car from your records and respect my wishes.”. But what astounds me IS THAT HE ACTUALLY SIGNED THE EMAIL WITH HIS NAME!!!!!! How can someone who is so worried about his privacy do such a thing?? My questions to you are:- 1. How do we, as the A7CA, stand with respect to the Data Protection Act, in publishing the A7CA Surviving Austin 7 Registers on our website, bearing in mind that we do not reveal any details as to who actually owns any of the cars listed in the Registers or where they live? 2. Have we actually impinged on the privacy of this new owner of this particular car, or are we doing so, by including the details of this car in the A7CA Register, bearing in mind that the details of the car were submitted to the A7CA Register by the previous owner when the previous owner actually owned the car? 3. This particular car was apparently sold, earlier this year, via an advertisement on eBay, from which I presume that the current owner bought it. Therefore all the details that appear in the A7CA Register and more may well have been published in the eBay advertisement. How can the details of this car now be privileged information, which the new owner can now deny anyone else seeing on the A7CA Register, especially those details were already on the A7CA Register when the new owner bought the car? 4. Also all the car details are available to anybody who had downloaded the eBay sale page for that particular car? I know of one such person who has! Sorry to go on for so long about such an anorak seeming subject, but I have worked long and hard in getting the A7CA Surviving Register to what it is today, and I feel very Yours sincerely XXXXX [email protected]
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask where you source the information about the cars from please?
From the owners of the cars, from the car clubs that the owners belong to, from previous registers, sometimes from adverts on the web, such as eBay
From the owners of the cars,
Sorry but this is the first time that I have tried to use an online Chat! So what happens now and how do we respond to each other???
Thanks. The Data Protection Act 1998 defines "data" as being "Data which relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data or from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or likely to come into the possession of the data controller."
OK, but how does that relate to the case that I have described? Can this person, who is unknown to me as the A7CA Registrar, demand that the details of his car be taken off a Register, which in no way actually identifies him of her personally?
Vehicle information is deemed to fall under data which is regulated by the Data Protection Act. The DVLA have guidance on this point. Although I note you are not keeping owners details without consent the maintenance of a vehicle database detailing chassis numbers and so on or history of a vehicle and other similar data would be treated as data for the DPA. Accordingly an individual that owns a particular car in question can ask that you remove that cars data from a publicly/member accessible database.
Sorry but the details are no more revealing that that which can be obtained from the DVLA website about a particular car by inputting their registration number. This does not make any sense.
If there was a refusal to do so I consider this would be grounds for a complaint to the Information Commissioner as a breach of the principle that the data is not retained longer than is necessary.
Sorry this does not seem at all logical to me, but what you are saying is that This particular car's details must be removed from the Register. Is that correct?
I appreciate your point of view but unfortunately there is clear guidance that data about vehicles does constitute "data" protected by the DPA and accordingly the owner of the car in question is entitled to request that the particular cars data is removed from a publicly or member database. You could refuse of course but this would be grounds for the owner to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner.
Would you please answer Yes Or No to whether the details of this car MUST be removed from the Register???
The IC has powers to levy fines though is generally thought to be under resourced where many complaints go uninvestigated.
In my view unfortunately yes, if the person can prove ownership of the vehicle, the information would have be removed on his request.
Thank you. Now how do I get a print out of all this conversation, please?
If you are using a PC you can copy and paste it. Alternatively I can ask customer services to email you a copy of te same if you would prefer?
Yes please, would you ask customer services to email me a copy? Sorry by I find these confusers rather confusing at times!! Thank you for your advice.
Certainly. I will ask them to do so. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.
Thanks Joshua, Cheers Jim