Consumer security an emerging issue in new computerized cars

February 8, 2015 byJoan Lowy

(AP)—Today's cars can come with many high-tech features that interact wirelessly with the electronic systems. Tiny, built-in computers control increasing numbers of vehicle functions, making keeping track of what they control or how well protected that data is difficult.

Internet access. Navigation systems. WiFi. Bluetooth. Keyless entry. Remote starting. Anti-theft systems. Tire-pressure monitoring.

And more gadgets and applications are on the way for our connected vehicles.

It's all part of the wave of developments from consumer electronics companies—along with health trackers and "smart" home appliances, for example.

A top federal regulator is pressing the tech industry to make data security a priority as new products become available—and to give consumers more control over how their data is used.

Explore further: FTC chief says gadget industry must prioritize privacy

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not rated yet Feb 09, 2015
If this unnamed "top federal regulator" is only worked up about PII leakage, he's not being imaginative enough.

How about some CryptoLocker-like virus that turns off your fridge, or renders your car inoperable until you pay the extortion. Or, considering cyber-warfare, cyber-terrorism, something that in a subtle manner causes auto engines to destroy themselves over the course of several minutes operation. Computers that operate equipment, that join into the Internet of Things, can cause much more harm that mere PII leakage.

As history is my guide we won't do anything to effectively address the problem until one (or several) painfully expensive incursions have happened.

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