Automakers Agree to Guidelines to Protect Drivers’ Digital Privacy


Trade associations representing automakers including Ford Motor Co., General Motor Co., and BMW Group on Thursday agreed to a consumer privacy protection plan for motorists as it relates to new vehicle technologies.

“As modern cars not only share the road, but will in the not too distant future communicate with one another, vigilance over the privacy of our customers and the security of vehicle systems is an imperative,” says John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Association of Global Automakers.

The new platform, based on the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Information Practice Principles, commit automakers to take certain steps to protect the personal data generated by their vehicles. This includes treating sensitive information, such as geolocation, driver behavior, and biometric information, with additional, heightened protections.

As part of the principles, automakers also agree to clearly state the limited circumstances where they may share information with government authorities, says Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

“New automotive technologies and services are providing our customers with tremendous benefits,” says Bainwol, citing examples including alerts about traffic conditions and remote unlocking. “Providing such features in a transparent way is important to both customers and automakers.”

Bozzella says that the principles are part of a larger initiative by automakers to protect the privacy and security of the data necessary to support these advanced vehicle technologies, Bozzella says.

“Automakers are integrating innovative systems in the initial stages of design and production providing consumers with safe, smart, and sensible vehicle choices,” Bozzella says. “As advanced technologies continue to evolve and become increasingly data driven, we will continue to adopt best practices and work with experts and other stakeholders to ensure consumers are protected.”

To read the full guidelines, click here.

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