Your Car Collects Data About You Too

Your web browser collects data about you and shares it with the websites you visit.  Your smartphone collects a ton of data about you and some of it goes to the carrier, but most of it is sold to data brokers by the developers of all those “free” apps you installed.  You car is collecting data about you too.  Where you go, how quickly you accelerate, how fast you drive, how hard you brake, and other driving behaviors are collected and analyzed.  As we connect our smart devices to the on board entertainment and cabin computer, even more information is collected and shared with GPS enabled mapping services and other phone apps.

So who owns this data?  Currently, the car’s owner does, but this may be changing.  Cars with on-board cameras are actively collecting road information for car makers and their partners to create super accurate online mapping for future autonomous, self-driving vehicles.

As a car owner and insurance company customer, you can voluntarily provide your driving data to your insurer in exchange for a safe driving discount, a la Progressive’s “Snapshot” device.  This is a small module you can plug into your car’s On-Board Diagnostics Type 2 (OBD-II) port under your dashboard.

How willing are car owners to share their data with automobile manufacturers?  Currently, not much.

  • 20% would share data to create safer roads.
  • 25% would share data for faster emergency services.
  • A majority do not trust the way automakers handle data collection.

We all like the cool factor of radar controlled emergency braking, lane-wandering alerts, automatic parallel parking, and backup cameras, but these features are adding information to the growing collection of data that is being collected and sold to marketing companies.

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About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, Bob also conducts security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. Bob also teaches Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. Bob works as an instruction for CompTIA’s non-profit IT-Ready Program in the Twin Cities. IT-Ready is a tuition free 8-week program designed to teach students of all ages the fundamentals of IT support to prepare them for an entry level position in Information Technology Support. Graduates of the classes take the exams to become CompTIA A+ certified. Bob is a frequent speaker at conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. Bob has been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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