Panel Discusses Vehicle Data Access

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April 10, 2019—A discussion on "How the Connected Car Impacts Consumer Choice" was hosted recently in Washington, D.C., during the policy and media days of the Washington Auto Show, according to a press release from the Auto Care Association

The discussion featured issue expert panelists Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League; Joseph (Joe) Jerome, policy counsel for the Privacy & Data Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology; and Greg Potter, chief technology officer at the Equipment and Tool Institute.

“So much of the debate around privacy right now is framed around the lens of Facebook and Google, and I understand that, but cars are a real manifestation of how the privacy rubber meets the road,” said Jerome.

Much of the dialogue focused on what drivers know about vehicle data, what data vehicles collect and why consumer access to and control of their vehicle data is vital.

“Yes, we should absolutely, as consumers, have access to data we generate,” said Greenberg. “We should know if it’s sold, shared, collected – consumers want to know that. Eighty-six percent of consumers say they want control of their vehicle’s data. I am concerned that we not leave this in the hands of automakers.”

The panel discussion also provided an opportunity to premiere The Driver Bill of Rights—a list of drivers’ inherent rights regarding the data their vehicles collect, such as the right to transparency about the data; the right to choose what data is collected; and the right to share repair and maintenance data.

“If you don’t have a meaningful ability to say ‘no,’ then don’t attach the word consent to it as it’s not real consent,” said Jerome. “As we’re seeing in the car space, people are concerned. When people say ‘no’ they don’t have options other than ripping stuff from their car.”


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