ControlBox – The company behind Privacy Shield on AutoTrader.com

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ControlBox.com LLC provides telephone and email communication privacy products with extra layers of security as well as powerful conversation management tools that allow consumers to take control of their interactions, whether looking to buy, sell or connect on the Internet.

ControlBox.com LLC was started in 2010 by founder and CEO Steven J. McAuley, a veteran auto industry executive who together with a team of technologists built proprietary Secure Messaging™ products to keep the personal contact information of Sellers and Buyer private while still allowing them to connect confidently.

In May 2012, ControlBox was selected as a Finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 Americas award, a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising and innovative North American private technology ventures.

AutoTrader.com is launching the Privacy Shield™ product nationwide after a successful year-long test pilot. Privacy Shield™ helps private sellers keep their personal contact information private, yet still connect anonymously to shoppers by telephone and email.

“Protecting our private sellers is very important to us. ControlBox is another step to providing a safe and secure selling experience,” said Alex Hudmon, Director of Consumer Sales at AutoTrader.com. “We want our customers to see AutoTrader.com as an industry leader by providing tools to insure a safer marketplace.”

AutoTrader.com launched the Privacy Shield™ product which is delivered with ControlBox technology products that puts privacy control in the hands of the sellers and provides them with tools to manage their calls and emails. In February, AutoTrader.com announced an equity investment in ControlBox.com. During the test pilot, Privacy Shield™ was successfully introduced in 32 percent of American markets, prompting the decision to expand the offering nation-wide starting on June 15th, 2012. Provided as part of certain private seller packages or purchased as an enhancement, Privacy Shield™ blocked more than 100,000 unwanted messages over a three-month period, confirming the benefits of this innovative technology to protect phone numbers and email addresses, two variables that can be used to uniquely identify an individual.

“The decision by Autotrader.com to make Privacy Shield™ available nationally affirms the vision and privacy philosophies of our ControlBox.com team,” says an elated Steven McAuley, CEO of ControlBox.com. “We respect the fact that there is an increasing demand by individuals to control their personal information, eliminate nuisance calls and avoid online scam risks while still participating in the limitless opportunities to interact on the web.”

McAuley emphasizes that the ControlBox.com contact management tools offer more than just privacy solutions, allowing sellers to assemble valuable information and organize sales leads generated from interactions with buyers. AutoTrader.com will launch the Privacy Shield™ nationwide on June 15, 2012 and McAuley says this support and increased exposure will promote further product innovations.

How to Access Privacy Shield™

To access the Privacy Shield™ contact management tools visit the AutoTrader.com site, click on the Manage Your Ad center and follow the Messages Tab™ to take advantage of the two distinct privacy functions protecting personal phone numbers and personal email addresses.

  1. Phone Numbers: A masked local phone number is provided to conceal personal contact information and interested buyers connect using the ControlBox.com telephone system’s interactive voice response system (IVR) that is fortified by security protocols to identify and block telemarketers and fraudsters. The sellers also have the option to selectively block certain individuals from contacting them and are provided with a record of contacts, including call recordings, to help stay organized throughout the selling process.
  2. Email: The email addresses of private parties remain anonymous and secure email communication is safeguarded by Privacy Shield ™to prevent email fraud activity.

In Short

This is a good development. It is a sign of the inevitable effort and concentration on the importance of control of and access to certain information about you, your surroundings, your whereabouts, you name it the Internet knows you. Google knows you.

It’s time for another way to conduct business online. Think I know just the fix.


About the Author

Ryan Gerardi
Creative, resourceful, and resilient B2B sales and marketing technologist who works with people and businesses on a variety of levels to help elevate their game, their brand, and their businesses.