Cars are the worst product category for privacy according to the nonprofit that developed internet browser Firefox. The Mozilla Foundation found 25 car brands, including Ford, Toyota, Tesla, and BMW, collect more personal data than needed.
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The automakers compile medical data, where you drive, what music you listen to while behind the wheel, speed, even gestures and body movement. Not to mention credit card and social security numbers! Continue reading for more examples below.
Audi, Jeep, Honda, Volkswagen, and Chevrolet also collect your very personal info
76% of car brands claim the right to sell your personal info
84% of the automotive companies researched even share (and/or sell) driver’s information with outside parties: data brokers, service providers, and shady businesses. These include auto insurance providers, advertising firms, law enforcement & government agencies, and social media. In others words, seems like automakers are selling less car and more data.
By 2030, 95% of new vehicles will be connected
Vehicles these days carry more features powered by computer systems that also connect to the internet. In fact, by 2030 McKinsey consulting firm says 95% of new cars will be connected. Touch-sensors, cameras, screens, microphones, satellite radio, GPS, telematics, and more all work together to collect, store, and create a record of who you are for your car company.
Carmakers can track employment & purchasing history, education, internet browsing history, location data, podcast listening habits, philosophical beliefs and more
If you enjoy the ease of a car app, like Apple Car Play and Android Auto, to get on the road, the automakers are collecting even more personal data. According to Mozilla’s report, Nissan and Kia are even allowed to collect info about your sex life.
From your health and race to sex life and citizenship status
The personal data your automaker can collect is shocking to say the least. Think credit card number plus social security number as mentioned before, IP address, sexual orientation, calendar, health diagnosis, fingerprints + faceprints, physical & mental disability, ancestry, immigration status, voice recordings, swerving concerns, purchases and plenty more.
Tesla is the worst when it comes to privacy
Tesla, is the worst guilty party according to Mozilla’s study. America’s best-selling electric vehicle brand’s AI-powered autopilot was found to be untrustworthy. But none of the 25 automakers studied could meet Mozilla’s minimum-security standards related to data encryption and theft protection. Even though the EV brand has a data opt-out policy, it warns drivers that if they do opt out, it may end many features and “may result in your vehicle suffering from reduced functionality, serious damage, or inoperability.” Not reassuring at all.
Twenty two of the car brands or 88% are creating inferences ; assumptions about you based on other data
There’s now a petition to stop all the data grabbing
The Mozilla Foundation spent over 600 hours, nearly one month, studying and researching privacy practices of automakers. That’s three times longer (per product) than what’s typically needed for privacy reviews. The Foundation started a petition urging car brands to stop their horrible privacy practices, including genetic information and stress patters.