As time goes on, technology is becoming increasingly more advanced, and a growing number of new car models are connected to the internet and to each other. That being said, the potential of a data security breach is becoming more realistic with each passing day. But should we be worried?
Specifically, there is the potential for our vehicles to disclose information to the outside world without our permission. In certain cases, the owners of these vehicles may have no clue what kind of information is being sent out to the world.
For example, car movement data can be used to deliver targeted ads, and the GPS tracking data could serve to alarm the boss if an employee is using the car for personal rather than business needs. In any case, certain information could potentially be harvested and sold to a third party for a nice profit.
Looking at some concrete examples, some BMW vehicles are equipped with the company’s “Connected Drive” system which has the functionality to contact breakdown assistance when needed. During the process, the owner’s identity is transmitted through the service, so a BMW-authorised repair shop can attend the incident.
According to BMW, this data is then deleted without being stored anywhere, so there’s no chance it will ever be transferred to a third party.
Thomas Kranig, head of the Bavarian data protection agency in southern Germany, is concerned that a lot of people are willing to disclose a great deal of personal information in order to attain access to free and paid services. He believes people hardly have any privacy left.