The three principles are simple enough: provide transparency of
what data is collected and how it's used, give consumers the
ability to choose with whom to share data and why, and make sure
the data is secure.
"This is our basis for what we might do on the policy front
going forward," said Michael Green, spokesman for the AAA National
Office. "A lot of consumers are worried that their car is spying on
them," he said, noting car tracking technologies have lots of
potential benefits and are "not something people should necessarily
be scared about."
The organization pointed to benefits such as enhanced emergency
response, auto problem diagnosis and traffic management.
However, he added, car manufacturers are collecting a lot more data
than they actually have a purpose for currently. And, if the
tech-laden cars from Ford, GM, Kia, Audi and others on display
at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week are any
indication, they're going to be collecting and storing a whole lot
A September 2013 AAA study found 68% of those surveyed were
concerned about privacy and security of car data, and 79% believed
consumers should always be allowed to choose whether their auto
data is shared and with whom.
"More and more cars are going to have connected features," said
Mr. Green. "We are recommending that consumers should be aware of
this." Although he said automakers require car buyers to sign
agreements approving data collection, he added, "Most consumers
aren't aware of what they're signing. They're very excited about
driving a car."
Driver privacy bill
Several Senators co-sponsored a bi-partisan Driver Data Privacy
bill introduced Tuesday by US Senators John Hoeven, R-N.D. and Amy
Klobuchar, D-Minn. The bill would give drivers ownership of data
collected by Event Data Recorders in vehicles, "to ensure that
government and other entities respect the Fourth Amendment rights
of Americans," according to a statement about the bill from Sen.
The auto data privacy front is heating up in the new year.
Commissioned by Sen. Klobuchar's state partner, Senator Al Franken,
D-Minn., the US Government Accountability Office's
report on car data collection practices could be used to
bolster his own location-privacy bill.