Data privacy is, and will continue to be, a very important aspect of remarketing a vehicle.

As it turns out, many vehicles at auction have some sort of personal data left from the previous owner, according to a study conducted by the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA) that looked at 400 vehicles from auctions throughout Canada and the U.S.

In this study, over half of the vehicles analyzed had some sort of personal information from the previous owner such as home address, previous destinations, call and text message logs, contact book details, and garage codes.

Privacy4Cars, an app developed by Jack Cooper Logistics, aims to simplify the process of wiping data off of a vehicle to ensure personal data is kept secure. 

“Basically we built an 'Encyclopedia Britannica' of infotainment systems, so users don’t have to read lengthy (and obscure) manuals nor memorize thousands of variations of hardware, firmware, and procedures across makes, models, years, and trims,” said Andrea Amico, president of Jack Cooper Logistics and new IARA compliance committee co-chair. “Users can easily follow visual step-by-step instructions right on their phones. Privacy4Cars works for many common vehicles as far back as 2007 models and we are adding new instruction sets every week.”

Using the app is simple, a VIN scanner allows the user to search input the exact vehicle they own to receive instructions on how to wipe the vehicle’s personal data (although the vehicle could be searched by year, make, and model as well).

Once the vehicle is identified, the app will present simple and clear step-by-step instructions on how to navigate the vehicle’s infotainment system to delete personal information. This, Amico added, allows users to skip sifting through lengthy vehicle manuals to find how to accomplish the same task.

“Privacy4Cars creates value for consignors, auctions, and other partners because it dramatically cuts down the time needed to erase the PII and because instructions are intuitive so lower skilled labor can reliably perform the deletion,” said Amico.

The app is currently available on the Google Play Store.

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