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    Baltimore Sun: Debate over web-connected cars, driver privacy headed to Maryland

    The Baltimore Sun reports on privacy questions concerning connected cars and their drivers:

    About one in five cars on American roadways connects to outside parties via cellular telephone networks, transmitting data on drivers’ speeding and braking habits, their location, and their vehicle’s health and performance. By 2025, AAA predicts, all new cars will.

    Computers on board most vehicles on the road already collect and monitor such data, which can be downloaded at dealerships for repair purposes and shared with manufacturers, who say it’s used to make cars safer and more reliable.

    But civil liberties and driver advocacy organizations — including those in Maryland — are becoming concerned about how secure such data is, who has access to it and whether it may drive up repair costs. AAA Mid-Atlantic has identified the growth of so-called “connected cars” as the next big thing on its policy agenda in the state. […]

    AAA appreciates how the data can improve safety but would like to see more transparency from manufacturers about what is being collected and how it is shared, and more control over that data in the hands of vehicle owners, said Bernhard M. Koch, CEO of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

    The driver advocacy group has yet to start crafting potential legislation in Maryland, he said, but wants to start a conversation about drivers’ rights to privacy and access to the data.

    “Consumers need to know what their cars know about them,” said Nate Cardozo, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends civil liberties “in the digital world.” […]

    Automakers have fought efforts in other states to force more data transparency, arguing that sharing too much information on their systems would only make them vulnerable.

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