Driving for Data Dollars: Automobiles Collect Vast Amounts of Info As You Cruise

From The Washington Post:

The connected car is a hot topic here in Detroit. The promise of increased safety and efficiency and the possibility of automated driving are the primary discussions that take place. At the same time, and with the introduction of 5G as a fatter pipe, the vast sums of data collected are being sent off, and they may (or more likely may not) be something you have control over. Fowler mentions that the creation rate can be 25Gb/hour.

When I buy a car, I assume the data I produce is owned by me — or at least is controlled by me. Many automakers do not. They act like how and where we drive, also known as telematics, isn’t personal information.

The most difficult part is that there is no governance in place over this data, and the “permission” to do so is part of the long documents signed when purchasing a car, which includes activation of telematics or other similar services.

There are no federal laws regulating what carmakers can collect or do with our driving data. And carmakers lag in taking steps to protect us and draw lines in the sand. Most hide what they’re collecting and sharing behind privacy policies written in the kind of language only a lawyer’s mother could love.

GDPR (Europe) and CCPA (California) provide mechanisms for access to data collected, and often a full “kill switch” exists for automobiles in Europe, but not the US, at least not yet. And transparent lists of how data is being used or shared are not available.

Included in this piece are a few ways to help prevent data from being collected, albeit with minimal help. The surest way to prevent such data collection seems to be to stick with an older car without telematics.

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