The information on this page explains how Transport for London (TfL) uses the personal information you supply when applying for, or using, your Oyster card. It also describes how long that information is kept for and the limited circumstances in which we might disclose it to a third party.
If you are registered under an Oyster photocard concessionary scheme, you can find extra information about how we use your personal data by using the links on the left hand menu bar.
Oyster card customers must register their cards in order to buy monthly or longer period season tickets.
Registration is optional for holders of 7 Day Travelcards or pay as you go credit.
What personal details are held about Oyster customers?The data we hold includes:
- Title (Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss etc)
- First name, middle initial and surname
- Telephone number and email address (you only have to supply these if you apply online)
- Encrypted bank card details of customers who purchase Oyster products using a debit or credit card
- If you use Auto top-up, we also hold the history of transactions including location, date and time
- The Oyster ticketing system records the location, date and time an Oyster card was used to validate a journey on TfL's network or on National Rail services where Oyster is accepted
How long does TfL keep Oyster information?
The Oyster ticketing system links the data recorded when an Oyster card is used to validate a journey to an individual Oyster card for eight weeks after the card is used.
After eight weeks, the data in the ticketing system is permanently disassociated from the Oyster card and it cannot be linked to an individual. We retain the anonymous journey data for research purposes.
The eight-week period is considered reasonable to enable customers to verify or make enquiries concerning their Oyster journeys (for example, for refund purposes) and was agreed in consultation with the Information Commissioner's Office at the time of Oyster's implementation in 2003.
We are changing the Oyster ticketing system so that it will retain customers' names and contact details for two years after the customer last used their card or bought an Oyster product.
The Oyster ticketing system retains details of debit or credit cards used to buy Oyster products, for a maximum of 18 months.
Please note if you are issued a penalty fare notice or prosecuted for fare evasion, we will need to keep your personal details and relevant journey and transaction history for a longer period.
How can customers access personal data in relation to their Oyster cards?
Oyster card customers can view details of the last eight journeys made on their card at London Underground and London Overground touchscreen ticket machines or by requesting a print out at a ticket office.
If you have registered your Oyster card, you can request a copy of your journey history by contacting the Oyster helpline, or by accessing your web account.
For access to other personal information please see the section on 'subject access requests' in Data Protection.
Is Oyster data secure?
Yes. We take the privacy of our customers very seriously and a range of robust policies, processes and technical measures are in place to control and safeguard access to, and use of, personal information associated with Oyster cards.
Does TfL share Oyster user data with third parties?
Only in very limited circumstances. We only share Oyster users' personal data with our subsidiaries and service providers, and those train operating companies which accept Oyster for travel on their services. The data is used for the purposes of customer services and administration, to provide travel-related information and for customer research and fraud prevention.
We do not pass any Oyster data to third parties for marketing purposes.
At our discretion, we may disclose personal data in response to valid requests from the police and other law enforcement bodies. This is permitted by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).
We may also disclose personal data if required to do so by law. The DPA allows us to do this where the request is supported by evidence of the relevant legislation which requires the disclosure, or a court order.
Does TfL receive requests from the police for disclosure of information about the use of individual Oyster cards?
Yes. All police requests for Oyster card information are co-ordinated by a specialist request handling team within TfL, which assesses the validity of each request.
Before we authorise any disclosure, the police have to demonstrate that the personal data concerned will assist them in the prevention or detection of a specific crime, or in the apprehension or prosecution of an offender.
Each police request is dealt with on a strictly case by case basis to ensure that any such disclosure is lawful and in accordance with the DPA.
We reject about five to 10 percent of requests each month because the police do not provide acceptable levels of detail or, we deem the requests excessive.
The Oyster Card Privacy Notice
Transport for London (TfL), its subsidiaries and service providers, will use your personal information for the purposes of customer services and administration, the provision of travel related information, customer research and fraud prevention.
If you use your Oyster card in connection with National Rail products or services, you will also be authorising TfL to share your personal information with relevant Train Operating Companies so that they can use it for the same purposes. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
In certain circumstances, TfL may also share your personal information with the police and other law enforcement agencies for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime.
TfL and its subsidiaries may also contact you about our offers and promotions. Please tick the relevant box if you do not wish to receive this information.
TOCs and their subsidiaries, whose services you have used, may contact you about their offers and promotions. Please tick the relevant box if you do not wish to receive this information.