The Collision Industry Conference this month reminded auto body repairers and other industry stakeholders of an opportunity to vote on five “Golden Rules” for protecting business and customer data.
The vote will be held at the virtual fourth-quarter CIC, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Nov. 10-11.
“It is important to note that anyone in attendance is allowed to vote and the committee encourages any interested party to attend, cast their vote and let their voice be heard,” CIC wrote in a Sept. 21 news release.
Unlike the physical CICs, the virtual conference will be completely free — sponsors have subsidized the cost of admission with a promo code (get it here) — and require zero travel on your part. So repairers should definitely take advantage of this opportunity to weigh in on the “Golden Rules” issue and participate in the rest of the summit too.
The proposed rules describe five privacy practices “that end-users within the collision repair industry could expect of business solutions providers,” according to the CIC:
1. Only use end-users’ data for the service(s) they intended for it to be used; never collect or use their data against them, or for business purposes other than those expressly intended and permitted.
2. Always provide the end-user clarity, transparency, and continuing education on the data you collect, the business purposes for which it is being used.
3. Never misappropriate end users’ data, or knowingly allow any third parties to covertly, dishonestly or unfairly access or take data generated by the end-user, for their own use.
4. Give end-users the choice to determine what data is and isn’t shared, and the opportunity to opt-out of data collection outside of the primary intended purpose.
5. Provide end-users with a clearly published, straightforward process to inquire about data that has been acquired from their business and the immediate chain of custody that data has encountered. (Minor formatting edits.)
An informal poll of the CIC audience at the July virtual meeting found 83 percent of an unspecified audience supportive of CIC considering adopting the rules at the November meeting. 14 percent abstained, and 3 percent objected.
The November vote “would formalize the ‘Golden Rules’ as an official CIC work product,” CIC wrote.
The Collision Industry Conference is a quarterly forum, not a governing body. It can’t compel anybody to do anything. But its regular attendees include representatives from a wide cross-section of the industry — including repairers, insurers, OEMs, educators, suppliers and software companies. So its work products can be viewed as carrying significant weight and support from the collision ecosystem.
“From time-to-time, CIC has developed Work Products when needed, such as to develop best practices or resolutions and booklets in order to improve inter-industry communication and find solutions to complex issues that are challenging the industry,” CIC wrote Sept. 21, referring readers to www.ciclink.com/work-products.
Society of Collision Repair Specialists Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg, whose organization has been trying to pinpoint the source of leaks to CARFAX, said in July his hope is that the Golden Rules foster an industry of business partners who can adopt them and say “‘my end users can hold me accountable to these Golden Rules.’” Speaking on behalf of auto body shops, he said none of the rules seemed to constitute an unreasonable expectation, and they represented something “many of the end users have been asking for for quite some time.”
First-party companies and third-party vendors might need to adopt practices along these lines anyway to do business in states with privacy statues like California Consumer Privacy Act, which applies to anyone doing more than $25 million in sales or accessing at least 50,000 Californians’ personal information.
MSO Symposium free
In other industry event news, the MSO Symposium announced Wednesday its 2020 forum will be free and virtual as well.
Organizers normally restrict the MSO Symposium to certain participants — last year, companies had to top $3 million in sales annually to attend — so shops should capitalize on the opportunity to attend. Even if a collision repairer has no intention of expanding beyond a single location, the information and insight available should still be valuable — and potentially offer a peek at ones MSO competitors.
“MSO Symposium organizers are encouraging all industry stakeholders to attend and experience this one of a kind opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in the industry,” organizers wrote in a news release.
The 2020 MSO Symposium will start at 3 p.m. ET daily Nov. 9-13, which means you’ll be able to hit both it and the Nov. 10-11 CIC without a conflict.
Organizers released the broad strokes of the lineup on Wednesday, noting that the week “should be enlightening and educational.”
Monday, Nov. 9: “Industry Statistics and Trends,” by Susanna Gotsch of CCC.”Industry Snapshot” by Vincent Romans, Romans Group.
Tuesday, Nov. 10: “OEM Panel Discussion,” Sean Carey, SCG Consulting. “Financial Insight Q&A Session with an Economist and Banker,” moderated by Marcy Tieger, Symphony Advisors.
Wednesday, Nov. 11: “Mega Dealer Panel Discussion,” moderated by Mike Anderson, Collision Advice. “Regional MSO Panel Discussion,” moderated by Dan Risley, CCC.
Thursday, Nov. 12: “Insurance Panel Discussion,” moderated by Stephen Applebaum, Insurance Solutions Group. “Real Estate Panel Discussion,” moderated by John Walcher, Veritas Advisors.
Friday, Nov. 13: “2 Private Equity Group presentations.” “Alternative Business Models,” by Mike Anderson, Collision Advice.
Organizers plan to open registration this week on www.msosymposium.com/register.
Collision Industry Conference, July 23, 2020
Collision Industry Conference Chairman Jeff Peevy (Automotive Management Institute) speaks to the July 25, 2019, Collision Industry Conference. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)
A scene from the 2019 MSO Symposium. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)