June 16, 2024

Lawmakers criticize eight automakers for sharing connected vehicle data

Modern vehicles gather a significant amount of data about their owners and drivers, with some surprising uses. According to a recent report by Automotive News, eight car manufacturers have been providing vehicle location data to law enforcement without the need for a court order or warrant.

These companies, including BMW, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen, admitted to sharing data with police when subpoenaed, causing concern among several officials. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Ed Markey of Massachusetts have called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the matter, stating that consumers have been misled for years about data privacy practices.

A decade ago, these automakers agreed to the Consumer Privacy Protection Principles, committing to only share data with a warrant or court order. However, a recent lawsuit against General Motors alleges that the company shared data with LexisNexis Risk Solutions for insurance purposes.

Lawmakers are also worried about the potential misuse of connected-car data, such as identifying individuals seeking certain medical treatments. Industry representatives defend their practices, stating that data is only shared under specific circumstances, like imminent threats to an individual’s safety.

Five automakers, including Honda, Ford, GM, Tesla, and Stellantis, have been commended for requiring warrants for data sharing, except in emergency situations or with customer consent.


Q: How are automakers handling consumer data?
A: Some automakers have been providing vehicle location data to law enforcement without court orders.

Q: What actions are lawmakers taking?
A: Senators have urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate automakers’ data sharing practices.


While the collection and sharing of vehicle data may raise concerns about privacy, it is important for automakers to be transparent and follow appropriate protocols when handling consumer information.

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