Select Page

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 3.01.33 PM

Yesterday at the DC Auto Show The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) released a guide to help consumers understand how new cars might be collecting personal information.

This guide, Personal Data In Your Car, gives examples of the types of data that most cars collect now. Older technology, such as Event Data Recorders (EDRs) have been installed in cars since the 90’s. EDRs record technical information about a car before and after a crash. Many new cars contain features such as navigation, blind spot detection, parking assist, and infotainment centers. User recognition technology may even scan a driver’s face and automatically adjust seat positioning. To take advantage of these features, however, the cars must collect information about the driver and driving habits.

Taking advantage of these new technologies does not mean that consumers must give up their rights to data privacy. The Guide explains the Automotive Privacy Principles and contains a helpful checklist of steps you can take to protect your privacy when selling or renting a car. The three main commitments of the Principles, which most major automakers have promised to abide by are:

  1. Transparency – manufacturers will provide you with clear and concise privacy policies.
  2. Affirmative Consent For Sensitive Data – your consent is required before certain sensitive information is used for marketing or shared with unaffiliated third parties for their own use. This includes three types of data: (1) ”geolocation” (where you are); (2) “biometric” (physical or health information about you or your passengers), and (3) driver behavior data.
  3. Limited sharing with government and law enforcement – automakers will clearly state the limited circumstances where they may share your information with government authorities and law enforcement.

To learn more about connected cars, check out our previous blog posts: European Commission Comments on Connected Cars and Privacy; Connected Cars and Privacy: The Automobile Industry’s Push for Self-Regulation; The Privacy Implications of Home Monitoring – Summit Preview.