Tech Expert Warns of Privacy Risks in Modern Vehicles

Modern vehicles collect an average of 25 gigabytes of data per hour, including driving habits and personal information, raising concerns about consumer privacy. Law enforcement agencies are already using this data as evidence, and critics warn that connected vehicle technology poses a risk to consumer privacy.

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Nitish Verma
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Tech Expert Warns of Privacy Risks in Modern Vehicles

Tech Expert Warns of Privacy Risks in Modern Vehicles

Modern vehicles have become akin to computers on wheels, collecting vast amounts of private user information that can compromise consumer privacy, according to tech expert Dave Hatter. These vehicles generate an average of 25 gigabytes of data per hour, including details on driving habits, preferred playlists, and personal information about the owner and occupants.

Why this matters: The widespread adoption oftwo, models, privacy, data, protection raises significant concerns about the erosion of personal privacy, as sensitive data can be shared or sold without owners' knowledge or consent. This could have far-reaching implications for data protection and individual freedom, particularly as the use of facial recognition technology and government access to data become more prevalent.

The data collected by modern cars raises significant concerns, as it can be shared or sold to insurance companies, governments, or other parties without the owner's knowledge or consent. Law enforcement agencies in the UK are already using this data as evidence, with at least 11 police forces and agencies having contracts with or staff trained by Berla Corporation, a leading manufacturer of digital vehicle forensics.

Berla's flagship product, iVe, is a computer unit that can access vehicle data and is restricted for sale to police forces, the military, and some private operators like insurance companies. "The level of detail that can be obtained is game-changing. A criminal can have wiped their phone and binned their clothes but can still be placed at a car, crash by their car satnav and a door opening log," said Andy, a forensic vehicle examiner.

Intelligence experts and privacy campaigners warn that connected vehicle technology poses a risk to consumer privacy. Cars can store data and feed it back to manufacturers and contractors, often without the owner's awareness. Chinese-made electric vehicles are a particular concern, as critics argue they come with an inbuilt ability to have their data emptied or be controlled remotely.

The implications of data-hungry cars are massive, with 95% of vehicles sold in 2030 predicted to be "smart cars." Most brands have proven to be poor on privacy, and the integration of facial recognition technology raises further concerns about data sharing and government access. China has strict data localization requirements, meaning foreign automakers must house their data storage within the country.

As the automotive industry continues to evolve, the privacy risks associated with modern vehicles cannot be ignored. Consumers must be aware of the data their cars collect and demand transparency from manufacturers about how that information is used and shared. Regulators and policymakers also have a crucial role to play in establishing clear guidelines and protections for consumer privacy in the age of connected cars.