Your Car is Spying on You

by Safety Connection

Do you consider your vehicle a safe space to have a frank conversation with a friend or family member, participate in a Zoom call, conduct business or even have a good cry? You might want to rethink that “safe” space.

Last week the Mozilla Foundation released their latest *Privacy Not Included report showing that “modern cars, [are] stuffed to the roof with sensors, collect more information about you than just about any other product in your life. They know where you go, what you say, and how you move your body. Nissan’s privacy policy, for example, allows the company to collect and share drivers’ sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic information, according to the report.”

In a September 6, 2023 press release, Mozilla shared that:

“…popular global brands — including BMW, Ford, Toyota, Tesla, Kia, and Subaru — can collect deeply personal data such as sexual activity, immigration status, race, facial expressions, weight, health and genetic information, and where you drive. Researchers found data is being gathered by sensors, microphones, cameras, and the phones and devices drivers connect to their cars, as well as by car apps, company websites, dealerships, and vehicle telematics. Brands can then share or sell this data to third parties. Car brands can also take much of this data and use it to develop inferences about a driver’s intelligence, abilities, characteristics, preferences, and more.”

And they also found that the apps that now come with most new vehicles are “an avenue for collecting even more personal data, like location and biometric information.

In a first for Mozilla, not a single car manufacturer in this year’s research met Mozilla’s minimum security standards. They say that cars are the worst category of products for privacy that they have ever reviewed.

And when delving into Mozilla’s research and what consumers can do about their vehicles spying on them, TechRadar concluded that “the steps drivers can take to minimize impact are frankly nonexistent, with it either being impossible to opt out of certain elements or where doing so will disable key parts of the car.”

Curious about what information YOUR car may be collecting about you? You can view the research here including each brand’s “privacy” policies and tips to protect yourself.

And if you own a Nissan, well, our condolences:

“Believe us when we say this: Nissan’s privacy policy is probably the most mind boggling creepy, scary, sad, messed up privacy policy we have ever read. And we here at *Privacy Not Included read a LOT of privacy policies. Please people, if you care even a little about privacy, please stay as far away from Nissan’s cars, apps, and connected services as you possibly can…”

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