Categories: News

Modern car and personal data: a new scandal in perspective?

Modern cars are a “nightmare” for personal data protection, according to a study published by the Mozilla Foundation.

In a recently published study by the Mozilla Foundation, modern cars were described as a “nightmare” when it comes to personal data protection. This study, which raised serious concerns about user privacy, found that car manufacturers collect excessive and unnecessary personal datausing and reselling them as they wish.

Based in San Francisco, California, the Mozilla Foundation examined models from the 25 most popular automotive brands on the market. The conclusions are alarming: all, without exception, collect a significant volume of personal data, well beyond what is required for the secure operation of their vehicles.

“Cars are the worst product we have ever tested for privacy”said the Mozilla Foundation and which has previously studied products such as smartwatches, smart speakers and meditation apps.

Your car will know almost everything about you

Concretely, manufacturers are able to collect a multitude of information, ranging from data linked to the use of the vehicle (such as driving habits) to information relating to the car’s connected services, including data coming from third-party applications such as navigation software or streaming radio.

Additionally, on-board software can also extract data from a smartphone if it is connected to the car or if the user has downloaded the manufacturer’s app, thereby putting user privacy at risk.

Among the 25 brands examined, only Renault and Dacia, belonging to the same group, indicate that drivers have the right to request the deletion of personal data collected during the use of their vehicle. A glimmer of hope in a dark privacy landscape.

Surprisingly, 84% of manufacturers surveyed plan to share the information collected, while 76% (or 19 brands) plan to sell it, highlighting the commercial value of drivers’ personal data.

Tesla and Nissan pinned

The study also ranked brands based on several criteria related to the protection of personal data, and Tesla was ranked dead last. This unenviable position is largely due to its artificial intelligence software, which the Mozilla Foundation describes as “unreliable”. Known for its Firefox browser, Mozilla positions itself as a defender of personal data protection, which makes Tesla’s performance all the more alarming.

Tesla has also been repeatedly criticized for malfunctions in its driver assistance software. As of June 2022, a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) listed 273 crashes involving Teslas in which the driver assistance program was active in the 30 seconds before the crash. The US Department of Justice has even opened an investigation into this subject, according to a stock market document published at the end of January.

In addition to Tesla, Nissan comes second among the least privacy-friendly brands. The Mozilla Foundation has highlighted that Nissan may collect data relating to the “sexual activity” of its drivers, raising questions about the sensitivity of the information collected.

As for the security of this data, Study Reveals 17 of 25 Brands Examined Have Been Leaked and Hacked in the Past Three Yearsthereby exposing drivers’ personal information to serious risks.

Read also :
• ZFE: they would favor the automobile industry according to some
• ZFE radars: how to spot them for sure?
• ZFE: what future impacts on our lifestyles?

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