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This includes legislation designed to encourage automotive finance companies to fully disclose their information collecting and sharing policies with their customers. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act is one such piece of legislation. Issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this act requires companies that offer consumers financial products or services including loans to explain their information sharing practices to their customers and to safeguard sensitive consumer data.
As an automotive dealership that provides financing, you have a legal obligation to comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. That means you must inform customers who supply you with personal information (for example, on a loan application or a quote request for a financial package) of your private practices and what you intend to do with this personal information. Personal information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and other information that could be used to identify a consumer individually.
So what action do you need to take to make sure you’re in compliance? The Act requires you to give consumers a privacy notice when they provide you with their personal information in the context of possibly financing or leasing a car from you. A privacy notice and opt-out notice are only required if you plan on sharing this personal information with nonaffiliated third parties. The notice should inform your customers about who you share their information with, what information you share, and for what purposes.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act does apply for dealerships who use third-party GPS vehicle tracking systems. For more information about the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act as it applies to you, and answers to commonly asked questions, click here.
Beyond protecting you legally, providing full disclosure of your information sharing practices can also build trust and add level of confidence on the part of your customers. When explaining your practices and developing your privacy notice, be sure to use plain language and avoid legalese. Educate your customers about their rights to know if and how their personal information is being shared. Keep it simple, concise, and remind your customer that you value their privacy and their business.
When disclosing that you will be sharing a customer’s personal information with a third-party GPS tracking system, be sure to explain the benefits of this practice to the customer. Remind them that the GPS tracking system you employ allows you to provide financing to customers who might otherwise not be able to qualify for a auto loan. Let them know that the system will help them stay on track with their payments and avoid defaulting on loans or losing their vehicles. Ultimately, the system will help your customer repair and rebuild their credit. All of which is good news to your customers.
And remember, the Spireon Automotive Solutions Group is here to assist you in understanding and complying with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and other federal regulations. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, at 1-866-655-8825.
Vice President of Field Sales, ASG