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Dealers & Data Protection – Brexit and Big Fines

7th April 2017

Data protection reforms are on the horizon, which may affect the way dealers collect and use individuals’ personal data. We know that this is dull… but dealers do have to comply, Brexit won’t change anything and there are big penalties of up to 4% of your turnover if you don’t.

Next May, new EU legislation GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is due to come into force in the UK to replace the Data Protection Act 1998. Before dealers breathe a sigh of relief thinking that the recent triggering of Article 50 will make all EU laws redundant, it has been confirmed by the government that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the introduction of the GDPR.

GDPR will give new and strengthened rights to individuals over and above the current data protection rules concerning their personal data, and topics such as consent, profiling, transparency and administrative fines will all be up for public consultation ahead of the regulations being finalised and published.

A significant change that car dealers and garages should be aware of is that the GDPR guidelines specifically ban the use of pre-ticked opt-in boxes for marketing purposes – which means failure to opt out will not constitute consent – and clear records to demonstrate consent must be kept.

Individuals must also explicitly agree to their data being used for different purposes – for example the consent for using their details for a prize draw competition will not extend beyond that specific purpose to use the details for sending them information on special offers or other marketing.

The Information Commissioner’s Office are encouraging businesses to review how they are seeking, obtaining and recording consent and whether they need to make any changes in the run up to the commencement of the regulations in May 2018.

The regulations will also cover profiling, which many dealers may think is limited to social media or internet search history, but will apply to data collected from existing customer relationships and their buying habits, which could impact dealers who use this information in their marketing activities.

Dragon2000’s dealer management system, DragonDMS is already geared to assist car dealers and garages comply with the current data protection rules, and over the coming months we will review all the guidelines and legislation as it is announced to ensure that our software and car dealer website offerings continue to help dealers remain compliant.

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