In October 2007, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) released a statement on its position on the use and ownership of the EMS extract. SCRS said it’s strongly opposed to any entity copying, downloading or using a collision repair facility’s EMS extract without its knowledge, approval and full disclosure as to which data fields will be used, how the data will be used or sold, and whom the data will be sold.
After the release of the SCRS position statement, several companies changed contract language to protect the EMS data. But for others, the EMS data remain money generators.
The SCRS had learned that several companies in the industry were using collision repairers’ EMS extracts without their full knowledge or approval. In other instances, repairers had given a company approval to use the EMS extract for a very specific purpose yet it was used for something other than its intended purpose.
EMS extract data can be aggregated and reported on to compare market labor rates and market practices, which may be sold to insurers and other interested parties.
Collision repairers need to be fully aware that the EMS extract contains all the vehicle owners’ private information that is included in an estimate, the SCRS says.
A shop could be violating federal and state privacy laws as a result of another entity using or selling its data.
An enhanced version of the EMS extract, the BMS, allows the sender to limit the information sent, so that all data do not have to be transmitted. But the BMS is not as prevalent as the EMS and is not accepted by all insurers.
The SCRS would like any information on any person or company selling, sharing or reporting on repairers’ data. Contact Executive Director Dan Risley at (708) 598-3384 or e-mail [email protected].