The Data Dilemma In Modern Cars

By: Anneken Tappe · September 11, 2023 · Reading Time: 2 minutes

Reinventing The Wheel

Cars collect a lot more data than drivers realize. Your vehicle is naturally linked to your name and address. But some car companies collect personal details above and beyond that. For example, Nissan’s (NSANY) privacy notice states that it can track and share users’ “driver’s license number, citizenship status, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, sexual activity, precise geolocation, health diagnosis data, and genetic information.”

With consumers worried about their phones listening in on conversations, this might be a step too far.

Privacy Concerns

America is a nation of drivers. The average American clocks in roughly 300 hours per year behind the wheel. All of this time on the road allows your car to collect plenty of information about you. This data, in turn, may be shared with third parties, including law enforcement.

Digital Dash

As technology continues to improve, your car is increasingly becoming a tech product, sending a steady stream of data back to the manufacturer: Today’s cars generate roughly 25 GB of data per hour, which can be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Since most modern cars have a built-in GPS, it’s unclear if you can opt-out of location tracking. But an easy way to protect your personal information is to prevent your phone from syncing to your vehicle. This will keep your texts, calls, social media accounts, and images from being documented and potentially sent to your car’s creator.

Additionally, the next time you’re shopping for a new car, be sure to ask about the car’s tracking capabilities, as well as the seller’s privacy policy.

Read more reporting here.

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