Fleets are being urged to ensure personal data is removed from electronic devices in vehicles in the wake of a survey of members by the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA).
The volume of vehicles entering the remarketing process and still containing personal data - notably on multi-media systems and satellite navigation devices - has highlighted a widespread concern that security is still an issue for the sector.
The survey reported that 90% of respondents felt there wasn’t enough clarity and understanding around personal data security protocols and the associated procedures for its removal prior to the vehicle resale.
At the heart of the issue was the fundamental question of who was ultimately responsible for the removal of personal data in vehicles, said the VRA. The survey showed that 59% of respondents believed it was the responsibility of the driver to do so prior to handing over their vehicles, with the balance saying that it should either be the inventory owner (OEM or leasing company) or the dealer where the vehicle was subject to a part-exchange transaction.
John Davies, chairman of the VRA, said “It is quite clear that the remarketing sector as a whole, covering inventory owners and service providers, needs to agree a set of standard protocols for the removal of personal data from returning vehicles. 
“Until this is achieved, we will continue to see uncertainty and more importantly an inconsistent approach to this very important issue. Perhaps as a good first step, the corporate inventory owners should highlight the risks to their customers/drivers and issue a clear set of guidelines on why and how to remove personal data stored in vehicles before they are handed over or exchanged for another one.”