The Mozilla Foundation’s report highlights concerns regarding the privacy of driver data in modern vehicles. According to the report, most car manufacturers admit that they may sell drivers’ personal data to third parties, and modern cars are rated poorly in terms of privacy protection.
Today’s vehicles are equipped with microphones that record conversations and cameras that capture both the interior and exterior of the car, as stated by Jen Caltrider, the head of the report.
The report reveals that car owners often have little say in how their data can be used. This situation is concerning, as cars are increasingly vulnerable to hacking, even though there are gaps in security specifications.
Buyers typically have limited options unless they purchase older used models. Among the 12 products examined by the Mozilla Foundation since 2017, which included fitness trackers, smart speakers, smart home devices, health and wellness apps, and other connected devices, cars received the lowest privacy ratings.
Out of the 25 car brands examined, none met the foundation’s specifications, failing all consumer privacy tests. More than half of these automakers say they can share driver data with the government or law enforcement with a simple request, without the need for a court order. Only Renault and Dacia provide drivers with the option to request the deletion of their data.
The research found that 84% of car companies collect, share, or sell data collected from car owners. This data is used for purposes unrelated to the car’s operation or the relationship between the brand and its owners.
Tesla, Nissan, and Hyundai were rated poorly in the report, with Tesla having a particularly low rating. Tesla has stated that if a driver requests an exemption from data collection, the company may not be able to immediately inform them of issues that could lead to “reduced functionality, serious damage, or inability to operate.”
In conclusion, while cars are becoming increasingly connected, privacy concerns regarding the collection and use of driver data need to be addressed. Car owners should be given more control over their data, and car manufacturers should improve their privacy practices to protect consumer rights.