Today’s cars are full of connected tech and computer systems which control and even record a lot of their functions, but they also collect a lot of private data.
Whilst there are lots of advantages to these increasingly advanced onboard systems, the rise in connectivity has raised some concerns about data protection and an individual’s right to privacy. Essentially, cars made today are closer to smartphones than ever before, with the new Tesla chip able to perform 72 trillion operations per second.
To dispel some myths and help you make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to keep your data protected while enjoying the benefits of these increasingly advanced systems, Vanarama studied the important question of privacy and information security within connected cars.
We’ve got everything you need to know on:
- What type of data is collected?
- Who can access the data?
- What is your data worth?
- How can you protect your data?
Information collected about you from your car or synced mobile devices includes:
- Phone Number
- Payment Information
- Driving Licence
If your connected car comes complete with its own application, then any information that you submit will be automatically connected to your car and will help to build a profile of you, especially when this is matched with data from the infotainment system within the car.
Personal information such as your name and address (findable from your saved location on your sat nav) will all be accessible, around with your phone number and email. Your payment information will also be stored with the car manufacturer you pay for any additional content like apps on your phone or infotainment unit.
To make sure you get the most out of your car’s systems but are still on the safe side when it comes to data security, here are our tips for keeping your personal information safe:
- When selling or returning your car, make sure you’ve removed your personal data:
When it’s time to part ways with your car, ensure that your entire address or phone book is erased from the internal computer, along with any accounts that may be logged in. This will make sure that no one ends up having access to your private numbers or passwords.
- Disconnect from the cloud:
Disconnecting from the cloud will ensure that all your information is at least stored locally – all in one place on a physical device. This won’t be possible for services that require location connection i.e., safety features but you should thoroughly check to see what you do and don’t need to be always connected.
- Update your software regularly:
It’s important that you update the car’s software regularly to give you the best protection and to make sure you have access to the latest features and functionality.
- Read the small print:
If your car comes complete with its own mobile application, make sure to read and understand the permissions to see what’s essential and what isn’t before you decide to click ‘accept all’. This is also good practice with your car’s infotainment system.
- Perform a factory reset:
If you want to be sure that there is no personal data left on your car’s internal computer, the best way to do this is to perform a factory reset. However, with this option there is no going back. Once the reset is complete you won’t be able to recover any data you may have lost.