The newer models can even track your eye movements, the weight of the people in the front seats, the weather in your location, and even places that you visit frequently. Millions of vehicles around this world are collecting this information but the companies are not sharing any details on why your car is spying on you.
Ms. Dixon told the Washington Post: “Most people don’t realize how deeply ingrained their habits are and how where we park our car on a regular basis can tell someone many things about us. There’s a load of anti-fraud companies and law enforcement agencies that would love to purchase this data, which can reveal our most intimate habits.”
78 million cars on the roads are connected to the internet is some way according to ABI Research. 98 % of the new cars sold in Europe and the US will be connected to the internet in the next three years according to the technology research firm Gartner.
Lisa Joy Rosner, chief marketing officer of Otonomo, a company that sells connected-car data, said: “The thing that car manufacturers realize now is that they’re not only hardware companies anymore – they’re software companies. The first space shuttle contained 500,000 lines of software code, but compare that to Ford’s projection that by 2020 their vehicles will contain 100 million lines of code.”
The car companies state that the data is not shared with any third parties without permission and it is only used to improve performance and safety. Experts in legal matters say that companies are required to acquire customers’ consent before sharing any information but further legislation is needed to protect customers from technological advancements.
Dr. Ryan Calo, an associate professor of law at the University of Washington, said: “Not only are automakers collecting a lot of data, they don’t have a particular regime that is regulating how they do it. Any company that has tons of data about consumers and can control the interaction with them is going to have the capability and incentive to try to use that information to the company’s advantage – and possibly to the detriment of consumers. It’s almost unavoidable. In addition, location data can be used to infer other sensitive information about individuals such as their religious affiliation or political activities.”