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West Yorkshire smart ticketing scheme given data protection warning

A smart ticketing initiative from West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has been criticised in an audit process.

The Yorcard project was rated as ‘poorly controlled’, the lowest rating available, in an audit report to be discussed at a WYCA board meeting today.

Yorcard is a joint venture established by WYCA and South Yorkshire Public Transport Executive (PTE) to provide joint smart ticketing between public transport systems. It is also currently developing a customer service database.

Yorcard’s website contains a page on “dispelling the myths” about the company, which says that it “holds no personal information about public transport passengers”.

However, the audit warned that Yorcard is likely to gain access to some personal data as part of its system development work and that its attitude to data protection is a “key area of concern”.

It found that WYCA has no formal structure to oversee Yorcard’s performance.

It also raised concerns about network security, with a high number of Yorcard staff being able to access the system as administrators, and local servers only being backed up once a week.

The audit also rated WYCA’s overall attitude to IT security as ‘requires improvement’, and warned that there is a lack of consistency in the attitude to risk management among WYCA’s different management teams.

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