CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. Auto/Mate Dealership Systems announced the launch of Guard/Mate, a free data protection service for auto dealership customers. The product will be rolled out in the beginning of February.

“Everyone in the industry agrees that dealers own their data and should have the right to grant access to any company they choose and that the DMS vendor should not sell, share or trade the dealers’ data,” said Mike Esposito, president and CEO of Auto/Mate. “However, the problem is that dealers change third-party vendors and may not know who is actually accessing their data.”

Guard/Mate audits the vendors that have access to Auto/Mate’s dealership management system (DMS), according to the company. Each month, the dealer receives a list of all the vendors who have access to their data, as well as when they accessed it and from which part of the system the data was pulled.

With a list of previously authorized vendors from Auto/Mate as a starting point, dealers can first notify Auto/Mate if any vendors are pulling data that shouldn’t be, according to the company. Upon notification from the dealer of unauthorized access, Auto/Mate will immediately shut off that vendor’s access.

For more information, visit Booth No. 1320 at NADA Convention 2012 or