Tiruchy RTOs leaking our data to firms, complain vehicle owners

When we enquired how he knew our residential address, he said his owner was in possession of all details of customers.
For representational purposes only
For representational purposes only(Express Illustrations)

TIRUCHY: A section of people who bought vehicles in the city recently complain that their personal details like residential address are being leaked after vehicle registration to third parties like car accessory vendors, compromising their safety.

A consumer, who did not wish to be named, said he received numerous calls from car accessory shops soon after registering his vehicle, which he purchased at a showroom in Pirattiyur, at the local regional transport office (RTO). I felt threatened when pamphlets from the same shops reached my residence, he added.

"How can local shops have my home address? It's usual these days to get marketing calls but I felt threatened when the pamphlets arrived at my doorstep. If anyone can have access to my address, it can be misused; there are high chances my personal security is at risk," he said.

"When I called up the shop and enquired, they said the local RTO shared my details. Both my bank and the car dealer denied sharing any details. The car dealer said that no customer details are shared with third parties without consent," he added.

An elderly couple, whose son working abroad recently purchased a car from Srirangam, recounts a similar encounter with a caller who identified himself as a sales executive with an accessory shop. We panicked from the frequent phone calls. When we finally answered the caller said he was near my home.

When we enquired how he knew our residential address, he said his owner was in possession of all details of customers. We warned him we would call up the police and then disconnected, the couple said. Officials at the Pirattiyur RTO, however, denied the allegations of them sharing details.

"Car dealers follow the practice of engaging sales executives to bring the car for registration. They have local connections and leakage of information is also possible that way. Also the paper goes through several hands before entering the system. We will, however, hold inquiries over the matter," an official said.

On the matter, Karthikeyan N, advocate and cyber law expert, said, "As per the new law (Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023), car dealers without consent from customers should not share their details with insurance firms and businesses. If a customer feels their personal data has been compromised upon, they can lodge a complaint immediately."

"A complaint can be made against the owner of the company whom they feel might have leaked the data. The local police can file the case under Section 84 of the IT Act. Only when the charge sheet is filed will one learn about the culprit," he added.

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