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    Detroit News: High tech in vehicles puts drivers’ privacy up for grabs

    The Detroit News reports on privacy concerns with high-tech vehicles and the data they collect, store and transmit:

    Every time a motorist slides in behind the wheel, odds are that car or truck is gathering information: How aggressively the driver accelerated, whether the speed limit was observed, how hard the brake pedal was applied. And beyond driving habits, where and when the car was driven, what route was taken and whether the seat belt was buckled.

    Few laws or regulations address ownership of data collected by infotainment and navigation systems in dashboards and by electronic black boxes under hoods. Auto data privacy is the industry equivalent of the Wild West, according to automotive industry and law experts.

    Should drivers expect information collected by their cars to be private? […]

    These questions come at a time when many Americans are fearful of their privacy in the wake of National Security Agency leaks and the answers are largely unclear.

    One thing is sure: Automakers collect data and they share it, several recently told a Government Accountability Office investigation. And according to the terms of use for many voice-activated and navigation systems, automakers have the right to share that information with marketers or anyone else they might want to. […]

    Fourteen states have laws restricting who can access black-box data and how it can be shared, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California, for instance, says owners of the vehicle can retrieve black box information, but so can law enforcement authorities depending on court jurisdiction. Michigan has no such prohibitions. And no states prohibit police from accessing information after a crash. […]

    Ford recently received a patent for targeted in-car advertisements: Cars would collect data, including location, to decide which ads to broadcast to each driver. Other automakers are looking at similar features.

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