Scrubbing vehicle surfaces because of the coronavirus pandemic is top of mind nowadays, but Privacy4Cars and AutoIMS announced a collaboration this week to clean the technology system of today’s modern models.

The companies finalized a new data partnership to provide visibility to consignors and auctions on the removal of nonpublic personal information previous owners and drivers may have left in consigned vehicles’ on-board systems. The information can include details such as previous destinations, home address, garage door codes, contact lists, call logs, text messages, device identifiers and more.

If auctions adopt the Privacy4Cars technology to delete personal data from vehicles in remarketing inventory, AutoIMS users — at no additional charge — will be able to monitor and have metrics on the deletion activity, including whether a data deletion extended warranty is applied.

The companies highlighted this cooperative effort to stem the dissemination of potentially-damaging privacy information is largely credited to the work of the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA) Technology, Standards, and Compliance Committees.

“The issue of vehicles showing up at auctions while still containing the personal data of consumers keeps coming up in discussions with our consignor and auction partners.” said Keely Smith, director of business services at AutoIMS and co-chair of the IARA Compliance Committee.

“With more consignors requiring the deletion of this data and more auctions starting to offer the service through Privacy4Cars, we are confident this partnership is a big step forward in establishing a common process and providing visibility and trackability across the entire remarketing ecosystem,” Smith continued in a news release. “This is a clear fit with our mission to be the industry standard and one-stop shop for managing vehicle remarketing portfolios.” founder Andrea Amico pointed out that a growing number of privacy, security and data disposal laws are being passed in many states — with significant implications for vehicle controllers and processors.

“At Privacy4Cars, we always focus on how to make privacy for cars businesses-friendly,” Amico said. “Our tool makes it easy for auctions to offer the deletion service as a turnkey solution, but equally important is the fact that our entire platform has been built to give consignors detailed compliance records by default and by design for every VIN.

“The AutoIMS philosophy of visibility and accountability in the automotive wholesale industry makes them a perfect fit with our mission to deliver a structured, repeatable and auditable process that can meet the increasing legal and reputational privacy challenges vehicles pose,” he continued.

“Consignors now have a single place to go to — across all their auction locations and channels — to prove their policies to delete private data are being consistently applied. This is what mitigates their risk and sets us apart from alternative approaches,” Amico went on to say.

Matt Arias co-chairs the Standards Committee at the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) and at IARA. Arias also serves as associate vice president of operations at America’s Auto Auction, which also recently announced a partnership with Privacy4Cars to offer consignors an extended warranty on their data deletion service to further limit their legal exposure from possible fines and lawsuits.

Arias said in this week’s news release that “being able to consistently, efficiently, and effectively help our consignors by leveraging Privacy4Cars will be that much more convenient with the AutoIMS integration. I can’t imagine an auction not using this solution.”

AutoIMS chief executive officer Venkat Krishnamoorthy offered this perspective about the new relationship with Privacy4Cars.

“Empowering the remarketing industry with better data is at the core of what we do,” Krishnamoorthy went on to say. “We are impressed by Privacy4Cars’ introduction of the first standard process to erase nonpublic personal information from the many thousands of different vehicle types that are consigned every day at auctions.

“As the industry-standard partner, it was an easy decision to add Privacy4Cars’ reports to our platform. Our clients now have measurable privacy protection metrics at their fingertips,” Krishnamoorthy went on to say.