A recent study conducted by Mozilla has revealed that cars are one of the worst product categories when it comes to privacy. In fact, every car brand that was looked at was found to collect more personal data than necessary and uses that information for purposes other than operating the vehicle and managing the consumer’s relationship with the brand.
The study found that car brands are able to collect intimate information about individuals, such as their medical information, genetic information, and even their “sex life.” Additionally, car brands are able to collect data on how fast individuals drive, where they drive, and what songs they listen to in their cars. This data is then used by the brands to make inferences about the consumer, including their intelligence, abilities, and interests.
What’s even more concerning is that 84% of the car brands researched stated that they can share personal data with service providers, data brokers, and other businesses without the consumer’s knowledge or consent. Even worse, 76% of the brands revealed that they can sell personal data to third parties. This means that not only is personal data being collected without individuals’ awareness, but it is also being shared and sold to unknown entities.
Surprisingly, more than half of the car brands (56%) admitted that they can share personal information with the government or law enforcement in response to a simple “request.” This “request” does not require a court order, but can be as informal as an inquiry. This low bar for sharing personal information with government entities raises concerns about public surveillance and potential privacy infringements.
It is crucial for consumers to be aware of the privacy policies of car brands and the data they collect. Reading these policies can be a daunting task, but it is important for individuals to understand what personal information is being collected and how it is being used. With the increasing integration of technology in cars, it is evident that privacy concerns need to be addressed and regulations put in place to protect consumers’ personal data.
In conclusion, the study conducted by Mozilla has shed light on the alarming privacy practices within the automotive industry. Car brands are collecting excessive amounts of personal data, using it for purposes beyond operating the vehicle, and sharing and selling it to unknown entities. Consumers must be vigilant about their privacy and demand more transparency and control over their personal information in the automotive sector.