Connected cars accelerate down data-collection highway

Connected cars accelerate down data-collection highway
In this April 22, 2014, file photo, a worker cleans a Tesla Model S sedan before an event to deliver the first set of cars to customers in Beijing. Automakers are collecting almost every shred of information thanks to vehicles' built-in internet connections, cameras and sensors. The internet connectivity is how cars can be unlocked remotely if the keys are lost. It's how safety features can be upgraded wirelessly and maintenance schedules adjusted based on performance. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

That holiday trip over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house could turn into nice little gift for automakers as they increasingly collect oodles and oodles of data about the driver.

Automakers are collecting valuable pieces of information thanks to the internet connections, cameras and sensors built into most vehicles in recent years. The online access makes it possible for cars to be unlocked remotely if the keys are lost. It's how safety features can be upgraded wirelessly and maintenance schedules adjusted based on performance.

But these digital peepholes are also offering a windshield-size view of people's lives. That's creating the potential for intrusive marketing pitches and government surveillance.

No serious incidents have occurred in the United States, Europe and Japan, but a red flag has already been raised in China, where have been sharing location details of connected cars with the government.

"We are not that far away from when 100 percent of all new cars will come equipped with data modems," Navigant Research analyst Sam Abuelsamid predicted. "Having the potential to collect more data about people in their cars means there is going to be potential for abuses, too."

Here are some key questions about the auto industry's acceleration down the highway:

Q: What kind of cars collect data?

A: In 2016, about one in every five cars sold globally could be plugged into the internet, according to BI Intelligence. By 2020, about three out of every four cars sold will be online.

So if you are driving a 2009 Toyota Corolla, you probably only have to worry about the tracking and data collection being done by the smartphone resting on the cup holder. But as those older models go to the scrapyard, it will become difficult to avoid a vehicle set up for gathering data that will be sent to automakers.

Q: Which automakers are leading the way in this trend?

A: General Motors accounted for 46 percent of connected-car shipments last year, according to the market research firm Counterpoint. They're followed by BMW (20 percent), Audi (14 percent) and Mercedes Benz (13 percent). In addition, Tesla's Model S sold since 2012 all come with connectivity. The firm said the biggest markets for connected car sales last year were China (32 percent), the United States (13 percent), Germany (11 percent) and the United Kingdom (9 percent).

Q: Do I own data that's collected?

A: Under U.S. law, it's unclear.

Drivers own the data stored in the "black boxes" that monitor vehicles in a crash. Police and insurers need a driver's consent—or a court order—to get that data. But there are no laws addressing data collected by automakers through vehicle .

So far, few automakers will share their data in the United States without the owners' consent, Abuelsamid said. Twenty companies—including GM, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz—signed a voluntary agreement in 2014 to get permission before sharing a driver's location, health or behavior with third parties. The agreement doesn't require approval from drivers for data to be shared with emergency workers or for internal research.

One of the most notable exceptions is electric car maker Tesla Motors, which has released data publicly to reveal—sometimes within hours of a crash—how fast a driver was traveling and whether the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot system was engaged after a collision.

Q: In what ways are automakers passing along data when drivers allow it to be shared?

A: They're giving the data to insurers to determine the premiums that should be charged, if a driver consents. This could be good if data indicates drivers are cautious, adhere to speed limits and seldom log lots of miles. But insurance premiums could jump for drivers who are prone to speeding or frequent hard braking—all of which could be interpreted as raising the risks for accidents. Insurers would also know whether your seat belt is fastened.

Q: Can I stop an automaker from collecting my data?

A: Most automakers let owners decline, or opt out of, data collection, but that's usually buried in the fine print. Otherwise, permission is assumed. Also, unlike smartphones, some data collection may be required to ensure that cars operate safely and can receive essential software updates. That's especially true as more vehicles come with features such as semi-autonomous driving. And it could be necessary in order to have self-driving vehicles.

Q: Should I be worried about automakers using my data in ways that are annoying or compromise my privacy?

A: Probably, if what has happened with smartphones is a reliable gauge.

As automakers collect more data about , they're more likely to look for ways to profit. The built-in display screens and mapping software would seem to be ideal spots for posting advertisements, similar to what Google, Facebook, Amazon and many other internet companies already do.

The business consultancy McKinsey has estimated automotive data could be worth $450 billion to $750 billion worldwide by 2030. Ford Motor CEO Jim Hackett may have foreshadowed what's coming as he boasted in a recent interview about how much the automaker already knows about its customers who get their loans through its financial services division. All the lending information has allowed Ford to learn how much money people, where they live, where they live and whether they are married.

"We've never ever been challenged on how we use that," Hackett told a Freakonomics podcast last month.


Explore further

Q&A: The data your car collects and who can use it

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Dec 23, 2018
Time to tell Congress to look into auto company privacy violations just like with Facebook?

Dec 23, 2018
No, it's time to tell congress "to hell with privacy" protect our people and loved ones from terrorists and others that would do violence to them. It's like wearing a mask to a demonstration. There is only one real reason for that, avoiding the consequences of your actions.
I see license plates with the dark covers on them quite a bit. Those are people hoping they can break the law and not get caught. They have the mentality of a criminal even if they aren't one.

Dec 23, 2018
How long before insurance companies convince the politicians (with money, of course) to make those little monitors they use to review people's driving and (now) offer a discount on insurance mandatory to GET insurance?. Do you want the insurers knowing everything you've used your car for?

Dec 23, 2018
Thorium Boy, why not? What have you been doing with your car anybody would care about? (Unless of course your speeding or running red lights thereby endangering other people.) Other than companies attempting to target you personally with ads? I had rather see a ad advertising a new computer rather than a ad advertising a womans shaver anyways. Target me away. :-)
Life would be so much more interesting, if all the ads were interesting and targeted to my interests.

Dec 23, 2018
rderkis, privacy is far more important than, "It shouldn't matter if you are not guilty."

You are part of the problem in America these days, and the constant attack on individual liberty. The danger for government abuse is FAR greater than a speeder or a terrorist, no matter what YOU are comfortable with. Governments have killed more people in the past than anything you are worried about, and are not to be trusted with that level of power. Wake up.

Dec 23, 2018
sci-fi dystopia coming from China / bilderberg . Drive a vintage 80's / 90' s car

Dec 23, 2018
Congress should be capable of doing more than one thing at a time. Our legislators should be both protecting us from terrorists (external enemies) and a corporate/government surveillance state (internal enemies.) I don't want big data electronically looking over my shoulders recording everything I do and monetizing it. I do not care to be the product. The government surveillance aspects are rather terrifying.

Dec 23, 2018
For this reason, I don't own a car with tracking services like On-Star. I do have a car with GPS maps, but the car does not have Internet capabilities, so should not be able to share that information with manufacturers, government.

We should be reasonably assured of privacy in our daily lives. And our insurance companies do not need to monitor our every move. Congress should enact laws restricting this. I am not holding my breath, however, waiting on Congress.

What worries me most is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy a car that does not have all the auto-braking, variable cruise control, Internet and/or other tracking and snooping capabilities.

Most automakers let owners decline, or opt out of, data collection, but that's usually buried in the fine print.

It should be opt in. I wonder how to opt-out?

Dec 23, 2018
@dogbert
For this reason, I don't own a car with tracking services like On-Star. I do have a car with GPS maps, but the car does not have Internet capabilities, so should not be able to share that information with manufacturers, government
just so you know, as long as you have GPS you can be tracked easily

If you use a smartphone (3G or better) then you can be tracked easily
I wonder how to opt-out?
get rid of your technology and live in a remote location while being self-sufficient

If you need technology, get computers only and jack a modem into a shortwave transmitter to use the "missionary net" to log into the internet (slow, but free - mostly)

Dec 23, 2018
like this bit

''A: They're giving the data to insurers to determine the premiums that should be charged, if a driver consents. This could be good if data indicates drivers are cautious, adhere to speed limits and seldom log lots of miles. But insurance premiums could jump for drivers who are prone to speeding or frequent hard braking—all of which could be interpreted as raising the risks for accidents. Insurers would also know whether your seat belt is fastened.''

so, short step to sci-fi dystopia , no tracking = higher insur. u r bad, put a mark on your social credit card


Dec 23, 2018
What worries me most is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy a car that does not have all the auto-braking, variable cruise control, Internet and/or other tracking and snooping capabilities
For someone who believes that the god of the universe (and santy claws) is watching his every move and will zap him any time he feels like it, you sure seem uncomfortable with surveillance.

How come?

Dec 23, 2018
You are part of the problem in America these days, and the constant attack on individual liberty. The danger for government abuse is FAR greater than a speeder or a terrorist, no matter what YOU are comfortable with. Governments have killed more people in the past than anything you are worried about, and are not to be trusted with that level of power. Wake up.


ThomasJoseph, one of us is WAY off base about our constitutional right to privacy. And I think it's you that does not know what your talking about. If you are right please point out the exact place and wording in our constitution where you are guaranteed a right to privacy.

And in case some of you have not noticed the greatest threat to our privacy comes from the existance of terrorism. It is shaping our laws and civilization because we are becoming proactive to terrorism.

Dec 23, 2018
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

*****************************************************************
You are a smug little man (at least intellectually), and should really endeavor to think and even learn before you speak. Our constitution is not something that someone who can vote should be unaware of. World history would also be a good idea for you to bone up on. I'm through giving you free lessons.

Dec 23, 2018
sci-fi dystopia coming from China / bilderberg . Drive a vintage 80's / 90' s car

That is currently my solution. But I am eyeing a few from the 40's or 50's for my next new car.

On the other plus side, they are easier to fix.

Dec 24, 2018
Most automakers let owners decline, or opt out of, data collection, but that's usually buried in the fine print.

I'd be fine if the situation were reversed. Deafault is opt out and if you really want to opt in you can hunt through the fine print until you find the setting.

Your private data is more sensitive than you know (not just in terms of sale value but in terms of how open for an easily automated attack any kind of released data makes you. We're not talking criminals that specifically target you but - criminal, industrial or government backed - skripts that just automatically profile and then manipulate or outright defraud anyone they have enough data on)

On the other hand I do understand that data is needed for advancing useful technologies (e.g. autonomous driving) so an opt in of selected data types tied to one specific purpose is OK.

Dec 24, 2018
@rderkis . Privacy is one of several human rights. As long as you're not doing anything that harms others, without their consent, it is no one else's business what you're doing. Not your neighbor or your government. The human right to privacy, like all human rights, is universal. Human rights existed before the Constitution or even any formal legal system of mankind. Human rights can't be granted and can't be denied anyone justifiably unless they've proven to be a threat to others.

Just amazes me how so many people willfully give up their human rights simply because doing so causes no immediate inconvenience.

Dec 24, 2018
Just amazes me how so many people willfully give up their human rights simply because doing so causes no immediate inconvenience.


sparcboy, while your opinion sounds good it is just opinion. Without the constitution to back it up it is just hot air.
As far as giving anything up there are ALWAYS immediate inconveniences. (Consequences)
Our need for privacy is a luxury not a right. Example we all need water, food, and shelter no matter the situation. Our need for privacy will depend on our current security. If 3 out of every 4 people is killed by a terrorist, all privacy would end. What about 1 out of every 2, or 1 out of 4, or 1 out of 10. At what point do you give up a percent of your privacy? It is always a balancing act.

Dec 24, 2018
Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

*****************************************************************
You are a smug little man (at least intellectually), and should really endeavor to think and even learn before you speak. Our constitution is not something that someone who can vote should be unaware of. World history would also be a good idea for you to bone up on. I'm through giving you free lessons.


Wow, all that writing to prove that the constitution says NOTHING about the right to privacy. :-)
(Other than what YOU read into it. Personally, I think they were talking about space aliens)

Dec 24, 2018
@herp-a-derpkis
the constitution says NOTHING about the right to privacy
the constitution may not state an express right to privacy; "The Bill of Rights, however, reflects the concern of James Madison and other framers for protecting specific aspects of privacy" - law2.umkc.edu

Amendment I
(Privacy of Beliefs)

Amendment III
(Privacy of the Home)

Amendment IV
(Privacy of the Person and Possessions)

Amendment IX
(More General Protection for Privacy)

Liberty Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
No State shall... deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law. (liberty includes privacy under SCOTUS interpretation)

ref: law2.umkc.edu

see also: Justice Brandeis's dissent in Olmstead v. U. S. (1928)

Dec 24, 2018
Captain Stumpy are you just plain stupid? Even if you are half right, from reading your previous posts you go to great lengths to quote references not just a general pointer to them.
So how does privacy of beliefs tie directly in with a cars digital data? Stupid?
So how does privacy of Privacy of the Home tie directly in with a cars digital data? Stupid?
So how does privacy of Privacy of the Person and Possessions tie directly in with a cars digital data? Stupid?
So how does privacy of "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law". tie directly in with a cars digital data? Stupid?

And "liberty includes privacy under SCOTUS interpretation" and under Mohammed's interpretation we are infidels. interpretation means nothing in the way of fact. STUPID


Dec 27, 2018
@herp-a-derp-kis
from reading your previous posts you go to great lengths to quote references not just a general pointer to them
who gives a f*ck?

You don't read references anyway
So how does privacy of...
stopped there
you stated
the constitution says NOTHING about the right to privacy
I proved you wrong, mostly because you're a f*cking idiot, you can't read, you're incapable of doing basic research before opening your stupid mouth and it was fun
and under Mohammed's interpretation we are infidels
mohammie didn't write the constitution - constitution being the keyword
interpretation means nothing in the way of fact
are you just plain stupid?

interpretation means everything in the US and law, especially when SCOTUS gets involved because interpretations change over time in cultures, hence my point above

oh wait!
You were too f*cking stupid to catch that - well, it's spelt out for you now

STUPID

Dec 27, 2018
I'm through giving you free lessons.
Oh, no by all means continue! I'll give you fives every time I see you, and support you with data if I can.

Jan 04, 2019
So how does privacy of Privacy of the Person and Possessions tie directly in with a cars digital data?
This cuts right to the heart of the matter. Auto tracking data can tell a LOT about a person, based on where the person goes. That's information that can be harmful to a person if it falls into the wrong hands. (In the hands of marketing, it can minimally be dammed annoying!) There is a constitutional right to be secure in one's papers. I would call 'papers' the 18th century term for data. Or are there those who believe that information is only constitutionally secure if in hardcopy form??

Jan 04, 2019
carbon_unit, please be sure and tell the Fathers of the U. S. Constitution about this. Since they forgot to add it.
So YOU would call digital data, papers. It's not a matter of what anyone believes, it's a matter of what the constitution says. The reason I say that is because we ALL know that the word's ideas can be twisted anyway anyone pleases.
Perhaps you , myself and many others would be surprised to know the actual terrorist incidents in the United States, the gathering of digital data has prevented.
carbon_unit, there's a possibility that that gathered digital data has prevented your loved ones from being blown to pieces. But I guess it's more important to you, no one knows you shop at Walgreens.

Feb 20, 2019
I know a real professional hacker who has worked for me once in this past month. He is very good at hacking. His charges are affordable, reliable, 100% safe. Contact him via address below…

How smart can he be and not know what is coming?. We lose more and more of our privacy everyday. It's only a matter of time, no matter how good he is, till he is outed and can not hide behind anonymity anymore. At which time he will be prosecuted and justice will prevail. All the hackers and con artists on the internet and the world in general will be brought to justice. Even a child can see that time approaching fast.
NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO HIDE.

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