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Happy New Year and New Car

It’s the start of a new year! So Happy New Year to you all…

I hope Santa bought you lots of nice things? Maybe a few devices to add to the ‘Internet of Things’? Did you know that experts predict that by the end of 2019 there will be around 26 billion devices connected to the IoT?

Now I’m sure that if you did buy a device that you set it up securely. You did, didn’t you? Before handing that bit of technology over to your children or your loved one, you ensured it was properly protected? No…? Oh… dear. Perhaps for their birthday you can buy them some Anti-Malware or Anti-Virus software?


But what about second hand tech?

In the run up to Christmas some of us may have wanted to earn a few pounds, before we put ON a few pounds.  Maybe you sold some old technology... Like a car perhaps?


New Year. New Car.

For me personally I needed to get a new car. The old one was simply coming to the end of its lease so I needed to upgrade/change. The date worked out to be end of January, so I thought “Oh what the heck. Let’s do this now.”

To cut a long and boring story short; on the 31st December I was the proud owner of a new car.  I won’t bore you with the make and model, because quite frankly I care more about the kind of shoes I wear than the car I drive. But it’s white, it’s modern and it’s got lots of the ‘standard’ features you’d expect.  I know this because I checked everything when I got home…


GDPR and a Car

Now my buying experience was very good indeed. I was very impressed by the number of times the dealer said “Because of GDPR I need to explain this…” or “Because of GDPR I need to ask you to consent to this…” And at least 50% of the time he was right (I get bored in car dealerships, so I was NOT about to go into a protracted conversation about why I really didn’t need to give Consent for them to tell me if there was a safety defect on the car?!)

So on returning home, eager to play with the new toy (actually that’s a lie, I just wanted to listen to my own music), I went through the settings of the car. What I discovered was…

  • The name of the previous owners and their devices previously connected..(e.g. “MarysPhone”)
  • All their contacts in the address book
  • Their home address
  • Last place they visited
  • Most frequently visited location
  • Favourite radio stations

But my personal favourite was finding a letter TO the previous owner, with their full name and address on it.  Clearly they had used it as some form of ‘bookmark’ previously.


Hitting the Reset button

In the New Year most of us exclaim “New Year. New me!”, which is great… I often call this “Hitting the Reset button.” And we should all do it now-and-again. Especially if you’re selling a car or other device that contains personal data.

For dealerships, it wouldn’t take too much effort to wipe the memory of the device before passing it on.  I know some do, and I know some ask that before returning leased cars that this is taken care of. But it’s worth checking, because not everyone is as diligent as I am when it comes to GDPR. Or honesty…

Happy New Year to you all! And wishing you a successful 2019.


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