I received this letter the other day, followed up by two phone calls from the dealership confirming that I received it. This is the second such letter I have received in the last month, the other one coming from Chase Bank concerning a data tape (remember those things!) that had been discarded as trash when it was supposed to have been destroyed because it had customer account data on it.
I’m pissed at Autobahn Motors and when I voiced that displeasure and frustration to the woman from Autobahn who called me, she attempted to fall back on the “this is happening to a lot of businesses” excuse. While I commend her for having the appropriate level of contrition about this matter and assuming full responsibility, I did have to call bullshit on this excuse. Make no mistake about it, when a business exposes your personal data either through neglect or insufficient security measures it is because someone in not doing their job correctly.
The reason Autobahn experienced an electronic break-in is because they did not put the right level of emphasis on data security. I would bet that they have a pretty secure physical location, enough so that someone with intent would have a difficult time walking in and driving off with a new car, but that same level of security was not applied to the one asset that they didn’t own but were still responsible for safeguarding… my credit information. I resent the statement in the letter that they “take seriously keeping our customers’ personal information secure” when the very next sentence informs me that someone broke in and took it. Guess they don’t take it that seriously. BTW, I really wonder if they would have notified me were it not for the California law that requires them to…
If you run a business that deals with the personal data of your customers, you can bet that the next time we do business I will be asking you what your data security measures are and if I am not satisfied that you take this seriously I will not be doing business with you. As for Autobahn, it’s too late for me to take back the new car I bought, but if you are shopping for a new car you should be aware of this and ask the dealership you are working with about how they are going to safeguard your personal data.