Publishing driver hearing outcomes constitutes “GDPR breach”, claims solicitor

Chris Tindall
September 9, 2020

A lawyer has described the office of the traffic commissioner’s (OTC) decision to publish the results of driver conduct hearings as “a serious GDPR breach” that could result in legal action.

Jonathon Backhouse, director at Backhouse Jones, said “sooner or later” a professional driver would sue the OTC for publishing the results of the hearings, as well as the driver’s name, date of birth, postcode and date of the hearing.

The OTC started publishing the decisions in June following a consultation which it said showed “widespread approval”.

At the time it said that the TCs were complying with data protection rules: “Publishing this information will make it easier for operators to find out if a driver has been subject to regulatory action,” it said.

“This will help them to ensure that they do not use drivers who have not declared any action taken by a TC against their vocational entitlement to their employers.

“The traffic commissioners have ensured they comply with data protection principles when publishing this data.”

But Backhouse questioned whether this was lawful: “It sounds to be a serious GDPR breach because they are not supposed to be public hearings,” he said.

“Sooner or later, a driver will probably take them to court over that.”

An OTC spokeswoman said the TCs had considered the law and taken appropriate advice.

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and has covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning and Brexit.

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