Auto Dealers: Target of Thieves and FTC Radars

By Terry Dortch

Auto deal­ers are attrac­tive can­di­dates for fail­ure to pro­tect con­sumer finan­cial infor­ma­tion, and are being tar­get­ed by both the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion — respon­si­ble for ensur­ing this pro­tec­tion  — and iden­ti­ty thieves, who’ll seem­ing­ly try any­thing to get this infor­ma­tion.

Recent FTC actions against a deal­er­ship make clear:

  • Your deal­er­ship is deemed a finan­cial insti­tu­tion and is no longer fly­ing under the FTC’s radar – it is now a bright light
  • Your deal­er­ship is cer­tain­ly an attrac­tive bea­con on the radar of crim­i­nal ele­ments who seek your finan­cial and cus­tomer infor­ma­tion

“If your idea of finan­cial com­pli­ance is the issuance of a pri­va­cy state­ment, and a writ­ten doc­u­ment you cre­at­ed or bought five years ago, then you are play­ing Russ­ian roulette with the FTC and iden­ti­ty thieves,” says Ter­ry Dortch, Pres­i­dent of Auto­mo­tive Com­pli­ance Con­sul­tants.

The FTC alleged that one deal­er­ship failed to take rea­son­able safe­guards to pro­tect and secure cus­tomer infor­ma­tion when the infor­ma­tion of approx­i­mate­ly 95,000 cus­tomers was com­pro­mised and made avail­able on a P2P net­work.

The FTC said this deal­er­ship failed to:

  • Assess risks to the con­sumer per­son­al infor­ma­tion it col­lect­ed and stored on line.
  • Adopt poli­cies to pre­vent or lim­it the extent of unau­tho­rized dis­clo­sure of per­son­al infor­ma­tion.
  • Use rea­son­able meth­ods to pre­vent, detect and inves­ti­gate unau­tho­rized access to per­son­al infor­ma­tion on its net­works.
  • Ade­quate­ly train employ­ees about infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty.
  • Employ rea­son­able mea­sures to respond to unau­tho­rized access to per­son­al infor­ma­tion.

How does your deal­er­ship net­work secu­ri­ty com­pare to deal­er­ships that have been flagged by the FTC for fail­ing com­pli­ance stan­dards?

Auto­mo­tive Com­pli­ance Con­sul­tants spe­cial­izes in deal­er­ship com­pli­ance, pro­vid­ing in-deal­er­ship con­sul­ta­tions and analy­sis, com­pli­ance audits, train­ing and solu­tions for all com­pli­ance needs. For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Ter­ry Dortch at [email protected] or vis­it www.compliantnow.com.

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