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The Privacy Pitfalls of Vehicle Data Collection: What You Need to Know

Are Your Cars Spying on You? Vehicle Data Collection, what you need to know 👇

If you think your privacy is only compromised when you’re online, think again. A new study by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation reveals that modern cars have become “wiretaps on wheels,” collecting an alarming amount of personal information without your explicit consent.

vehicle data collection

The Concern of vehicle data collection

  • Vague Policies: Major car manufacturers are increasingly vague about who gets access to your personal data, and half of them willingly share it with government or law enforcement agencies without a court order.
  • Data Overload: With sophisticated sensors, telematics, and digital consoles, modern cars are gathering more data than ever before.
  • Weak Security: Given the industry’s track record of being susceptible to hacking, the vague security standards are a growing concern.
  • Little Control: Car owners have little to no control over the data their vehicles collect, since they are not even aware of some data collection. 
What They Collect
  • Personal Conversations: Cars are often equipped with microphones.
  • Visual Data: Cameras in cars face both inward and outward.
  • Detailed Personal Information: From driver’s license numbers to even sexual activity.

So, Who Gets This Vehicle Data Collection?

  • Government: Half of the 19 automakers surveyed may share your data with the government upon “request” — no court order needed.
  • Data Brokers and Marketers: Though vague, it’s likely that your data is being sold to data brokers and marketers.
  • Third-party Services: Partners like SiriusXM, Google Maps, and Onstar are also collecting data.

Failing to Meet Minimum Privacy Standards

Not one of the 25 most popular car brands in Europe and North America met Mozilla’s minimum privacy standards.

The point is particularly glaring given that many of these popular brands operate globally and are subject to various privacy regulations, such as the GDPR in Europe. 

The alarming findings highlight a significant gap in the automotive industry when it comes to data privacy and protection. For car brands and related businesses, this is a wake-up call. If your organization falls into this category, the public’s concern regarding data privacy offers you an opportunity to differentiate your brand by taking responsible action. This is where iubenda comes in.

How iubenda Can Help You Turn the Tide

Navigating the complex web of privacy laws like GDPR, CCPA as amended by the CPRA, and others can be a daunting task. iubenda provides solutions to make your compliance journey simpler and stress-free.

  1. Customizable Privacy Policies: One of the major issues pointed out was the lack of transparent privacy policies. With iubenda’s Privacy and Cookie Policy Generator, you can generate clear, comprehensive, and customizable privacy policies. 
  2. Consent Management: Another concern raised was the “illusion of consent.” iubenda’s Privacy Controls and Cookie Solution can handle consent management in a transparent and user-friendly way, ensuring that customers know exactly what they’re signing up for.
  3. Data Management Solutions: With iubenda’s Consent Database, you can set up proper channels for data collection, storage, and sharing, ensuring that you comply with principles like data minimization and purpose limitation. This is particularly useful for car companies, which are now collecting a diverse set of data, ranging from location information to driving patterns and even biometric data.
  4. Up-to-Date Practices: Privacy laws and consumer expectations are always evolving. iubenda keeps your privacy policies and data protection practices up-to-date, so you won’t find yourself on the wrong side of public opinion or the law.

Why Act Now?

🤝 Consumer Trust: In an industry that’s losing consumer trust, your commitment to privacy could be a strong selling point.
🌐 Regulatory Actions: Government investigations into privacy practices in the automotive industry are a clear sign that regulatory actions are coming. It’s better to be prepared than caught off guard.
🚀 Competitive Advantage: As Mozilla’s survey indicates, no major car brand meets the minimum privacy standards currently. Be the first to turn this around and gain a competitive edge.

Don’t wait for consumer backlash or stricter regulations to force your hand.

Take proactive steps today