23 May 2024

Transport Agency privacy breach: 1500 motorists' information illegally accessed

3:59 pm on 23 May 2024
Traffic including trucks on Auckland motorway

(file image) Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

The New Zealand Transport Agency is investigating a privacy breach involving illegal access of information held on driver licence and motor vehicle registers, including full names and addresses, or the status, conditions and endorsements on driver licences.

The Transport Agency (NZTA) is contacting 1480 people to tell them their driver licence register or motor vehicle register has been illegally accessed.

In late March, NZTA was told the identify of a motor vehicle trader and its staff was used to gain access to the information via a third-party online portal, MotorWeb, which holds registry information.

MotorWeb cancelled the account when they found out about it and advised NZTA of the privacy breach, NZTA said.

Regulatory group manager Brent Alderton said they were investigating to understand the scale and nature of the breach.

Police and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner have been notified too.

"We take our responsibilities for the protection of personal information extremely seriously, and we apologise to the individuals affected by this incident and for any inconvenience or distress it has caused," Alderton said.

"NZTA already had work underway to improve privacy protection, and following this incident we have focussed specifically on reviewing the third-party access to our systems to strengthen the protection of the information we hold.

"MotorWeb and the motor vehicle trader are both assisting NZTA with our investigation."

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