What, exactly, does your car know about you?


(NewsNation) — Everything around us seems to be collecting our data these days and your car is no exception.

All of those extra high-tech features that let you play your music or answer your calls hands-free are also taking in information,

Even though you own your data, you likely signed it away to your car company in exchange for a connection to Bluetooth, GPS or emergency services.

The fine print on consent is very broad. And once the car companies aggregate your data — it’s monetizable.

So what data does your car have exactly?

For starters, your location.

Location data can be sold to outside companies. If you’re wondering why they would want it, you likely drive to a series of the same places each day, creating a “heat map” of your favorite places and when you are there.

They also know your age and how many hard stops you take. That’s helpful information for insurance companies.

We’re all aware that our smartphones keep data on us. But at this point, cars are essentially smartphones with wheels. They’re constantly collecting information on where you are going, how fast you are driving — even if you’ve gained weight.

Connect your phone and your car knows who you are talking to or texting. The issue is, unlike a phone, most drivers have no idea they are giving their car consent to collect the data or where it’s going.

“Cars, unfortunately, right now, those consents are very blanket in nature. So they include even location services second by second,” said security expert Rick Jordan. “This is one of the reasons why privacy advocates want to update these laws … the consents are very overbroad right now there’s they’re not selective.”

But connected cars aren’t all evil. It’s how we stream music on roadtrips and navigate with GPS. This is the same software that tells us to check our engine and alerts us of dangers on the road.

Today, around half of cars sold have internet connections. By 2030, about 95% of new vehicles sold globally will be connected.

However, most autos hide what they’re collecting and sharing behind privacy policies written in difficult to understand language. Opting out can be tricky and could mean losing emergency services such as roadside assistance.

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