Automotive Industry Trends & OutlookThe number of subprime auto loans are up and continue to climb. More customers who have a history of credit problems can now afford cars that allow them to get to work.The downside is that it also means that the risks of delinquencies are on the rise.At the start of 2015, Experian Automotive reported that subprime auto loans account for $336 billion in car loans – that’s 38.7% of all loans. As lenders go deeper with loans, they’re adjusting standards on loan applications, extending loan terms and increasing loan amounts. All of which contributes to a rise in delinquencies, costing lenders and dealerships substantial money in recovering their vehicles.The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected car solutions like GPS vehicle tracking systems and payment devices help dealers and lenders out. The IoT is an interconnection of smart devices that share data across the internet. GPS tracking devices are part of that IoT ecosystem, and are installed in vehicles to capture and transmit data to smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers used by dealers and lenders to track and protect their vehicle assets.The use of solutions like GPS asset tracking systems is a powerful, effective and attractive way to reduce the risk that comes with subprime lending. The best systems not only allow dealers to locate vehicles, but to automate and improve loan STIPs verifications, predict and address delinquent behavior, keep customers on track with payments, and drastically reduce the time and costs associated with recoveries.Consumer Privacy & FTC ComplianceJust as it’s important to make sure you’re performing your due diligence when qualifying customers for subprime loans, it’s equally important to make sure your GPS vehicle tracking system complies with federal and state regulations.Several federal and consumer protection agencies now are paying attention to the growing trend of IoT trends among businesses wanting to capture, automate and leverage data about customers. An IoT report released by the FTC recommends several steps businesses can take to protect their customers’ privacy and security. Among them are building security into devices from the beginning, integrating multiple layers of security controls, preventing devices and data from unauthorized access, and closely monitoring devices at all times.As a dealer, the questions you should ask yourself are: Is my provider taking the right steps to protect my devices and consumer data? Does my GPS vehicle tracking system do all these things?A Simple Solution for Bullet-Proof SecurityAt Spireon, we’re way ahead of the consumer data protection curve. Our GoldStar GPS vehicle tracking system is built on our award-winning NSpire platform — an ultra-secure cloud-based environment that incorporates a multi-layered security approach just like the one the FTC recommends.Our NSpire network is comprised of multiple Tier 3 and Tier 4 data centers strategically located nationwide. These data centers are only accessible to people with high-level security clearance and use leading-edge physical security features.Our data centers adhere to strict security protocols and controls and enforce state-of-the-art security measures to protect consumer data that travels across the network. Your customers’ data will be pushed through a secured internet pipeline and automatically encrypted. We also employ robust firewalls and sophisticated access protection to ensure your customers’ data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.Dedicated security experts at our top-tier data centers use the latest tools for combatting security threats. They’re also monitoring your customers’ personal data 24/7, year-round, and not splitting their security duties with other IT tasks. And they regularly update their security procedures to counter the most recent attack strategies and trends.On top of all that, Spireon’s own IT team runs weekly security scans against all external-facing systems to proactively catch any potential vulnerabilities before your customer data is put at risk.Going Beyond Secure TechnologyAt Spireon, consumer protection and privacy is ingrained in our culture. We’re actively educating the automotive finance industry about best practices in consumer privacy and compliance through white papers, speaking engagements, articles and more.Bottom line: You’re in the business of putting people into cars when no one else will. The IoT and the right GPS vehicle tracking system will help you mitigate the risk of going deeper with your loans. But you must make sure you’re doing the proper diligence on the front end. It would be wise to make sure the GPS vehicle tracking system and solution provider you work with is helping you comply with regulations around customer data privacy.To learn more, take a look at the Spireon GoldStar GPS vehicle tracking solution, or call 1.800.557.1449.