GDPR and Travel History?

On a personal level, my replacement Oyster Card got lost int he post and so I’ve due my fiver back and my balance of £38.25

I note, however, unlike I would expect with GDPR, I don’t seem to have any access to all of the data that Transport for London have collected about my travel.

“If you are a registered Oyster or contactless payment card customer, you can access your journey/payment history and other personal information by signing into your online account. Oyster card journey history is retained for 8 weeks after the card has been used, and for contactless payment cards, journey history is retained for 13 months.” – Access your data - Transport for London

Why isn’t there a place to get all your your data, above sending an email to [email protected].? It seems very … severe to be removing access just because you’ve got a new Oyster or Contactless card.

Or am I in error? The help page listed about says nothing about it being deleted when you change cards.

Hi @briantist - unfortunately I can’t really give an answer in this case as Oyster is not in my area of expertise and I don’t have access to your data to answer the question (good GDPR practice!)

I’d suggest contacting the contact centre using their Oyster form


@jamesevans Thanks.

I really wouldn’t expect you to have my data or access my data, but good GDRP practice should allow a data subject to be easily able to access data collected by them.

Anyway, it’s more a matter of interest rather than a pressing concern so I will use the form you suggested.

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Also of interest, what data is collected for those with a freedom pass?

  • I presume it’s the same data as Oyster
  • but the FP user doesn’t have an online account
  • is it, theoretically at least, possible for an FP user to have an online account to be able to access details of their journeys in the same way that an Oyster user could do?


Have you tried adding the card number to an account at ?

That seemed like a possible answer. But I tried it and “You can’t add this type of Oyster card to an online account”.

It does at least confirm that it recognises it as being an Oyster card though.

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That’s very interesting in itself. I’m not sure what other type of card you might expect to provide London Transport services?

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I’ve thought more about the situation and started to wonder whether the funding arrangement might mean that it was not even necessary to permanently record freedom pass journeys. Perhaps, for example, it would be only necessary to log the journeys in bulk, but not to attribute them to specific individuals.

I found two documents that help towards understanding the system:

The second is dated 2013 so a bit old, but presumably the principle still applies.

If I’ve understood the above correctly:

  • TFL knows what journeys were made on each freedom pass, but not who owns it
  • The boroughs know who owns each freedom pass, but the documents don’t explicitly cover whether councils get details of individual journeys
  • Councils aren’t billed for individual journeys or daily.weekly caps but instead pay TFL an annual assessment which is based on the aggregated total of FP journeys made in a previous 2 year period
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