Calls for data removal protocol for cars about to be remarketed
Cars are increasingly turning into computers on wheels, and this presents a peculiar problem for the remarketing industry. As with computers at the end of their life-cycle, vehicles ready to be remarketed may still hold a large amount of private information linked to their former owners/users.
Which is why the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) is urging the UK remarketing sector to agree on a protocol to safely remove such personal data from vehicles before they are remarketed – thus preventing that the data falls into the wrong hands, and could be used to defraud or blackmail their rightful owner.
A survey conducted by the VRA reports that 90% of respondents felt the rules around data security and data removal prior to vehicle resale were inadequate. The cause of that widespread sentiment is the uncertainty on who is ultimately responsible for personal data removal. Of those surveyed, 59% believed that the driver should be the one erasing all personal data from the vehicle before handing it over, while the rest were divided between holding the inventory owner (i.e. the OEM or leasing company) or the dealer responsible.
“Until the remarketing sector agrees on a set of standard protocols for personal data removal from returning vehicles, uncertainty and inconsistency will continue”, said VRA chairman John Davies, who also said that highlighting the risks of leaving data in returning cars could be a good way to get everybody moving on the issue.