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Trafi driver database shouldn’t re-open in current form, says comms watchdog

Trafi’s online service should only be used to check motorists’ driving permits and professional qualifications, says Finland’s communications watchdog Ficora.

Trafin logo.
Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

The motorist database service provided by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi should not be restored in its current form, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority Ficora said on Wednesday.

Last week the Transport and Communications Ministry had called on Ficora to look into the traffic agency’s online database service, after public complaints over the ease with which anyone could look up an individual’s driving background and the fact that the service also provided access to other personal information.

Trafi closed the service after the public outcry over the perceived data privacy breach, but partly re-opened it last week. Trafi boss Mia Nykopp resigned last Thursday in the wake of the public backlash.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the transport ministry quoted the communications watchdog as saying that the service should be implemented in such a way that queries would only provide information about the validity of a motorist’s driver’s permit or professional driving qualification.

The ministry noted that Ficora had handed over the report on Wednesday and added that it would study its recommendations before deciding on a course of action.

According to Ficora’s evaluation, Trafi did not provide a mass of motorist information on the site. The communications regulatory agency assessed Trafi’s online customer services as being in better shape than that of other public administrative systems.

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