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Security concerns over driver information on multi-media systems

Milton Keynes-based contract hire and leasing company Activa Contracts says the call is in line with the ever-growing trend towards the so-called “connected car”, which means that company car drivers should return in-vehicle multi-media systems to the “factory setting” on de-fleet. 

Prior to disposal, Activa Contracts ensures all multi-media systems are ‘wiped clean’ and systems returned to their factory setting, and is urging other leasing firms and end-user fleets to do the same. 

Martin Hughes, Activa Contracts’ remarketing manager, said: “Initially vehicles were fitted with satellite navigation devices and returned vehicles frequently contained a stream of addresses. Now drivers are plugging their smartphones into car multi-media systems and conducting a wide range of business. 

“Multi-media systems are mini computers and retain a vast amount of information and much of it is likely to be private or business confidential. If systems are not wiped clean that information could end up in the wrong hands.” 

Last year saw a British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association “Fleet Technology White Paper” outline that fleets believe “connected vehicles” and more integrated smartphone systems are to become a key growth area

Hughes added: “The explosion in information and data going through in-vehicle multi-media systems will only increase as the ‘connected car’ becomes reality. Therefore, our advice to drivers when returning their company cars is to ensure the system is back to its factory setting thereby deleting all information.”

The company added that advice on returning a multi-media system to its factory setting can usually be found in a car’s handbook.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.