The report assessed the data privacy policies of 25 automobile brands, all of whom received “Privacy Not Included” warnings .
According to a new study, car brands collect “too much personal data” from drivers, with little to no freedom of opting out. The report assessed the data privacy policies of 25 automobile brands, all of whom received “Privacy Not Included” warnings from Mozilla Foundation – developers of Mozilla Firefox & advocates for better online privacy & internet safety.
The authors of the new study, apart from cars, also reviewed products from various categories, including mental health apps, electronic entertainment devices, smart home devices, wearables and health & exercise products. However, the authors stated, “Cars were the worst product we have reviewed for privacy”, even going on to call them a “privacy nightmare”. Kevin Zawacki, Spokesperson of Mozilla Foundation, mentioned that cars were the first category reviewed wherein every product received the “Privacy Not Included” warning label.
Reports also stated that all the car brands were deemed to be collecting too much personal data, with 84% of them even sharing or selling them. The study adds weight to concerns about cars becoming tech products that collect personal data, which can be easily shared or sold without the explicit permission of the customer.
The data includes super intimate information about car users, such as medical information, genetic information, how fast you drive, where you drive and what songs you listen to; among plenty of others.
Mozilla Foundation, which conducted the study, stated that of the 25 carmakers they assessed, Renault & Dacia ranked the first & second best, respectively. The data privacy policies of the two brands weren’t so bad, mainly because of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which is more stringent than the US’s current privacy rules.
Tesla ranked at the bottom, with the authors of the study mentioning that the EV brand set a “pretty low bar when it comes to your privacy”. Tesla was also in a recent controversy when reports of workers sharing videos of owners from the car’s cameras had come to light.
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