Protect Your Dealership Data

Your DMS is MVP When It Comes to Protecting Your Data 

Do you know who has access to your data? And, what they’re doing with it?

Needless to say, these are the questions on the minds of a lot of people lately. If you’re a dealer principal or a manager, it should be on your mind, as well – in terms of dealership data.

When it comes to valuable customer information and data, you need to take real steps to protect it. And, your dealer management system (DMS) is an often-overlooked asset in your quest to protect your data and profits.

Own Your Data

Along with customer information, secure dealer data control is increasingly vital for both compliance and facilitating business goals. But if you think you can authorize and then forget data extracts from your dealership systems, you should think again.

Dealertrack fundamentally believes that dealer data is owned by the dealer.  By safeguarding non-public customer information through encrypting and masking technology, we make it easy for our dealers to satisfy compliance regulations.

 Dealertrack’s Opentrack Program for DMS enables dealers to integrate and turn on or off partners they want to give access to, as well as provides monthly reports on the data flow and use.  Similarly, Data Extracts allows dealers to pick which data reports (among 200+) to provide to partners, along with the ability to add or delete partners or data modules anytime in real time. 

This is important because some partners may claim that they need to own or have irrevocable license to your dealer data.  Others may want to hide what data they are pulling and how they are using it, and many charge exorbitant amounts to integrate your data – data that belongs to you – into their systems. The bottom line is that you need to inspect your own dealership’s data practices to ensure that your technology partners are doing only what you approve.

Protect Your Business

To protect your customers, your data and ultimately your profitability, make sure of the following:

  • Privacy notices address the sharing of data
  • Carefully vet and contractually bind your partners to confidentiality and specified, limited use of dealer data
  • Limit partner access to only those data modules required for them to perform the contracted-for services
  • Reserve the right to restrict access to data as your business needs change
  • Terminate access to your dealer data immediately at the end of a relationship

The combination of Smart Technology and smart data sharing and security practices is your best defense against lost or stolen customer and dealer data. By demonstrating to customer that you can practically and confidently protect their information, it will go a long way in winning their confidence and future business.

To read more about this issue, check out my article in the August issue of Auto Dealer Monthly by clicking here.

Sharon Kitzman is Vice President and General Manager, DMS, for Dealertrack.

 This month, Dealertrack’s DMS was given the highest honor in Auto Dealer Monthly’s Annual Dealers Choice Awards – the 2014 Diamond Award for DMS Providers.