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I profess to being one of the "lurkers" who mostly skims these automotive blogs to stay on top of today's automotive news and catch up on the latest and greatest vendor offerings. Today I am making an exception and making this post to highlight that this issue is VERY TECHNICAL. Maybe too technical for the automotive, state and national authorities that are currently getting involved. Based on posts from our friends Jim, Ralph and the like, I am seeing advertising and improper sales (bird dog) penalties being threatened, but there is still the main issue.
The crux of this issue (in my opinion) is; (1) The consumer information privacy violations and (2) The illegal contracts that TrueCar is having dealerships sign.
First, (1) Consumer Information Privacy Violation(s)... No business has the right to re-use / re-purpose a consumer's private information without their permission. There are existing laws for this.
Second. (2) It has been more years than I care to disclose since I graduated from college, but, if my memory serves me right, a written contract is not enforceable if it proposes or includes a statement that is illegal. That, would seem to be a smoking gun that lawmakers could use to hold TrueCar and ALL DATA MANIPULATORS accountable when they pull out their signed fine print techno babble dealership contracts to hide behind.
I admire the efforts everyone has put forward to reign in this unacceptable behavior. To those of you who have the power and connections to make a difference, PLEASE take more than a few minutes to examine and better understand the technical side of this issue.
Who owns a consumer's data that is required to be given at the time of an automotive transaction? (the consumer)
Who is responsible for the protection and safe keeping of that data? (dealership, DMS providers, any individual that touches that information once secured by the first two)
What privacy laws are being broken in your state when a consumer's information is disseminated without their permission?
Can you add more to this post to help authorities better understand the technical issue(s) at hand?
Good Selling All!