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Watch the road, while your car watches you

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Many new cars record and share your speed, how often you brake and use your seatbelt and even where you are. A new poll reveals motorists’ angst over connected car data.

By Staff Reports

A vast majority of motorists wants tougher laws to prevent sharing of vehicle data that is being sent out by the new generation of “connected cars.”
A new poll by the American Automobile Association shows Virginia motorists are expressing strong concerns over the ownership and privacy of the data.

In fact, motorists are overwhelmingly leery of how the “sees all, knows all” connected car information could be used, the AAA poll shows.
Ninety-three percent of motorists want tougher laws and policies on the books to protect consumers’ rights to the information generated and captured by their vehicles.
U.S. consumer protection laws and the legal and legislative communities haven’t caught up with the warp-speed advances of in-vehicle technology engineered to collect data about driving behavior and habits, including how fast you drive, how often you brake or use your seatbelt, and even your whereabouts once you’re behind the wheel, privacy advocates say.
AAA said that’s especially troubling to a plurality of motorists surveyed in Virginia regarding the emergence of in-vehicle wireless technology that gives your car the ability to share and obtain data almost anywhere on the planet.
AAA said the information gleaned by a vehicle’s telemetry system should be in the private and personal domain of the purchaser of a vehicle.
“Event data recorders are black boxes that have been in vehicles for years, yet the majority of people are unaware of this fact,” Meade said.
“Today’s technologies’ involving the connected car is a whole new privacy issue and it is very easy for a consumer to get wrapped up in the new bells and whistles without giving the first thought to whom, when, or how any of their information might be shared.
A full 80 percent of motorists surveyed in Virginia say they are very concerned about their personal privacy and security when it comes to sharing information automatically generated by their vehicle (via telematics, remote diagnostics, vehicle-to-X communications, autonomous operations, and in-car infotainment systems) with the auto manufacturer, and in many cases, with other companies, too, AAA said.
Many new vehicles rolling off the showroom floor come equipped with built-in technology designed to diagnose and inform motorists of problems with their cars.
On top of that, the in-car connectivity databank in late model cars can be connected directly to and uploaded by automakers and data brokers, and yes, even possibly mined by police departments in the future, AAA said.
Major components in a vehicle collect relevant information and transmit it back to the vehicle manufacturer. The manufacturer automatically analyzes the information and e-mails any pertinent warnings or reports back to the vehicle owner.