How Will Car Rental Innovation Handle Privacy Issues?
ICRS tackles how a high-tech industry could deal with a fundamental concern
There’s no doubt that innovation has been quite a boon for the car rental industry, with connectivity providing data that can improve customer service while cutting down on expenses. The increasing adaptation of biometrics and telematics has also entered the fray. These services appear set to become tools for companies in the industry to get a competitive leg up in the market.
That being said, it’s still a new frontier for all involved, meaning that the issues surrounding the introduction of such technology are immense and murky at best. One of those issues surrounds privacy, both in terms of company information security and the basic rights of a customer base that books vehicles.
New laws like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act are springing up and promise to keep more surveillance-oriented technology in check. The California regulation in particular allows consumers access to data companies are collected on them. It also enables them to have those records deleted on request, gives them the right to opt out of any company campaigns and protects consumers from retaliation with companies forced to abide by those requests.
While consumers benefit from a law that further protects their privacy, it’s also a disadvantage to car rental companies who use connectivity to retrieve data that could better manage their fleets. Deleted data will make it harder for companies to recognize patterns in their fleet performance that could be critical to how firms can better compete in the marketplace.
ICRS to address technology and privacy concerns
It’s an issue worth exploring, according to organizers of the International Car Rental Show, taking place March 22-24 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Navigating the Intersection of New Technology and Privacy will be a panel consisting of Steven Hengeli, a privacy specialist with the Polsinelli law firm; and Leslie Pujo, legal partner with Plave Koch. Both will explain connectivity issues as well as more internal company concerns like employee surveillance and how they may or may not conform to privacy laws that may limit or prohibit use of data-collection technology.
The old standby defense from companies has been that the data they retrieve is theirs alone to use it as they wish. How much of that holds true in a more ambiguous information age remains to be seen. After all, ownership of personal data raises issues about whether customer data should still remain the property of the source being profiled.