Federal Trade Commission Warns Auto Industry on Data Usage Practices

May 22, 2024
A blog post from the agency told the auto industry that it’s being closely watched.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released a statement warning the auto industry of its data privacy practices, reports the Record.

A blog post published May 14 by FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection told the auto industry that it’s being closely watched by the agency, and that vehicle data privacy has been something FTC has been aware of as a potential danger for years now.

In particular, the agency noted concerns it has with the sale of geolocation data, likening the tracking capabilities of modern vehicles to that of mobile phones. FTC added that companies with access to sensitive data may only use it for the reasons they give for collecting it, and that in many cases, it may be better to not collect the data at all.

This is the first comment made by FTC on vehicle data privacy since 2018, and came just as several major automakers confessed to Congress that they would release driver data to others upon request without a warrant. 

Blog posts from FTC typically act as informal warnings for industries, and are the result of public listening sessions and workshops it’s participated in, according to Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Director of Litigation John Davisson. Organizations such as Consumer Reports have been calling on the agency to look into the sharing of data with insurers and data brokers from automakers.

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Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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