Automakers Adopt Data Privacy Principles

Automakers Adopt Data Privacy Principles

Many of the world’s largest automakers have agreed to adopt new privacy principles when it comes to data sharing. 

As our cars become more connected with services like GM’s 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, fears concerning the security of personal data collected by cars has been called into question. Now, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Mazda have all agreed to adopt a common set of principles that govern how this data is to be handled.

First, all of these companies have agreed to disclose to consumers the type of data that is being recorded and how that data will be shared or used. Second, each company must obtain the car owner’s permission to use any of their personal information for marketing purposes. This means that the company can’t, for example, offer you specific advertisements based on your vehicle’s location unless you consent. The guidelines also stipulate that information can be retained no longer than determined necessary for legitimate business reasons.

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There are many different types of data that can be collected from modern cars, for example the vehicle’s location can be tracked, data that reveals the driver’s physical characteristics can be obtained and details about driving behavior can also be logged.

Despite these new rules bringing a standard for data sharing that before was completely different from one company to the next, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. still thinks more should be done. “It is unclear how auto companies will make their data collection practices transparent beyond including the information in vehicle owner manuals, and the principles do not provide consumers with a choice whether sensitive information is collected in the first place,” Markey said in a statement.

Automakers can still use data internally for research, for tracking the location of a stolen vehicle or for safety and warranty services.

[Source: Automotive News]