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Privacy And Your Car

 

AAA says that automobile manufacturers are capable of collecting huge amounts of data as cars get more and more advanced.  If you are in the market for a new car, read the fine print of your contract.  More than likely you will be asked to sign a document allowing the manufacturer to accumulate not only your location when you are driving but how many times a day you get behind the wheel and when.

In light of the Driver Privacy Act AAA suggests manufacturers at least offer some transparency into what data they are collecting and why. To protect drivers’ privacy AAA asks for the following information to be given to the consumer:

1.  Provide transparency about what data is being collected and how is it being used.
2.  Allow the consumer to choose who they are sharing the data with and why they are being   asked to share it.
3.  Make sure the data is secure.

Some manufacturers were planning on selling their collected data to third parties.  Thankfully United States senators put a stop to that.  In light of all the recent breaches to security it is making consumers uncomfortable and many get the feeling that privacy is a thing of the past. 

The Driver Privacy Bill was recently introduced as a bi-partisan bill to the senate.  This bill’s purpose is to protect our Fourth Amendment rights. AAA conducted a study last fall that revealed that 79% of consumers felt we had a right to choose whether or not our auto data is shared and who it is shared with.  68% are very concerned with their privacy and security when data is shared. 

Let’s take this a step further.  If you sell your car or trade it in, does the data collection stop and the purchaser of your vehicle get to decide if they will allow data to be collected or does it just keep on collecting without the new owner’s knowledge?  Currently so much data is being collected that the manufacturers aren’t even sure what they going to use it all for but certainly this scenario needs to be considered to protect the privacy of those purchasing used cars.

Some of the reasons data is being collected is to help accelerate emergency response time and to help maintain traffic so drivers aren’t delayed.  At least one manufacturer (and of course more will quickly follow) has the capability of sending software updates to vehicles wirelessly to address problems and enhance performance. 

A few years ago we might have thought such issues were only in the minds of science fiction authors but it is the reality of today.  We will have to see where it leads us. 

 

 

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