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Protecting shop customers’ private information

When uploading an estimate or ordering parts from third party vendors, some estimate software systems may not be protecting consumer information as shops might think

Sacramento, Calif.—Several new laws recently took effect in California including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which, among other things, require auto body facilities to protect customer’s personal information, stated the California Auto Body Association (CAA) in a news release. Unfortunately, when uploading an estimate or ordering parts from third party vendors, some estimate software systems may not be protecting consumer information as shops might think.

This information includes customer name, address, telephone number, vehicle license number and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN carries with it everything needed to identify the vehicle in detail. Some parties sell this information to other vendors that use the information to produce vehicle history reports or for other purposes, according to CAA.

Some estimate software system vendors have taken appropriate measures to comply with the new California laws and protect consumer information by creating a “secure” system, CAA added. For example, CCC has a developed a system called “Secure Share Program.” See link for CCC details. https://www.cccsecureshare.com/Faq

CAA advised that auto body shops should also work closely with its Information Technology (IT) advisors to ensure that the shop estimating system is protecting consumer information. This issue could pose “serious” legal ramifications for a shop if not addressed. It recommended that current CAA members should review Shop Tip #32 on the CAA website for more information and a temporary solution for your shop.

CAA encouraged non-current members to join the association in order to have access to the information as well as all the other member benefits. After logging in to the CAA website, all “Shop Tips” can be found under the “Shop Tips and Resources” link.

Shops interested in becoming a member or renewing can call the CAA office at 916-557-8100 to request an invoice or sign up over the phone.

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