More and more of the cars on our roads and in development are connected to the internet in some way, many even feature sensors too. Although both of these things make driving a car more convenient for the average driver, they do present an issue, namely that of your privacy when these vehicles are in operation.
Here are some very important questions that car makers need to answer about connected cars as they become more common:
Could a Driver Be Identified By Their Driving?
With equipment that is sensitive enough it could become very possible for each of us to be identified by our own unique driving behavior and the subtle differences in the way, we handle our vehicles. In theory, this could be used to ‘fingerprint; us in the future. This might seem a bit unlikely, but there are people out there, including members of the Center for Democracy and Technology, who think this could be a very real possibility in the future, and if that is the case, we all need to know about it now.
Who Will We Be Able to See Data Collected About Us?
If connected cars are used to collect data on us, and chances are they will be, will we also be able to access that data? Will our insurance company? Johnson auto insurance might not be using connected car data to determine the cost of our insurance yet and maybe they never will, but most insurance companies in the future may well be, and that means that we need to know exactly who will and will not be able to access that collected data, why they’ll be given access and how they will be able to use it. We will also need to know if we can opt out of the collection of various pieces of data and whether we’ll be able to stop companies from using our personal driving data.
Will It Be Dangerous for Connected Vehicles if Some Opt Out?
Fans of connected data argue that by sending safety data to the cloud, we will all be safer on the roads, but is this really true? Should we be allowed to opt out of having our data collected if we wish without being pressured by supposed safety concerns if we want to keep our data out of the hands of insurance companies and marketers?
What Happens When a Connected Car is Driven by Multiple Users?
If connected cars could be used to fingerprint you, and if they could be used to determine your insurance premiums, what happens when you either share your car with another family member or you sell your car on to another individual? Will privacy be maintained? Will there be a way of distinguishing between the two? This is something we really need to know before we can be confident driving connected cars that collect data.
Will Hackers Target Connected Cars?
Right now, there aren’t enough connected cars to make them an appealing target for hackers, but when will that change? How many connected cars will there need to be before we see ransom attacks on our vehicles and what are manufacturers doing to prevent that from happening? This is perhaps the most pressing concern surrounding these vehicles right now and it really needs an answer before fully connected cars are rolled out on a larger scale.