Vehicle privacy: How to handle sensitive data collected by modern vehicles?

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1 November 2023

Privacy is becoming an increasing concern among customers of modern vehicles. Car manufacturers collect a vast amount of data from them, and it is not only tempting but also increasingly necessary to monetize this data to enhance the customer experience and boost profits. But what can manufacturers do to ensure vehicle privacy and the real data security of their customers?

What privacy concerns do cars have?

Today, a car may know where its users drive to, what they discuss in the vehicle, what facial expressions they exhibit, what activities they engage in within the car, their daily habits, their health status, and the environments they drive in – just to name a few types of data collected. Cars can become privacy nightmares for both users and pedestrians around them. Additionally, apps associated with the cars pose challenges as they gather even more precise data, including geolocation and biometric information. The Mozilla Foundation has released a report addressing these concerns involving 25 car manufacturers.

First steps towards a solution – and why they fail

In response, many car producers have adopted the Consumer Privacy Protection Principles laid out by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation Inc. 

However, these guidelines are non-binding and do not truly represent the interests of the buyers; they are more of a “privacy-washing” practice within the automotive industry. In reality, car manufacturers collect more data than necessary and often sell this information to third parties without the specific consent of the drivers. Consumers have limited alternatives, aside from purchasing older models.

The real solution for vehicle privacy: deploying Confidential Cloud Tower

Collecting data is a necessity for car manufacturers as market expectations are high. Also, customers seek an enhanced experience, and competition is fierce. Modern technology offers numerous smart solutions to make everyday life in a car safer, more enjoyable, and fully customized. Technical development should not be hindered: it should be enabled.

The solution lies in confidential data sharing. For instance, when a car manufacturer has collected data, it is not shared directly by a third-party app but rather through the secure Confidential Cloud platform. The result is the same as with direct data sharing, but without the risk of data breaches and without providing raw datasets. This way, car manufacturers retain full control over their data, with a clear understanding of how their data is used, while also complying with even the strictest data protection laws. Imagine having a privacy policy that only has to state that the car manufacturer does not share your data with third parties. No need to formulate lengthy and complicated policies that do not serve the direct interests of vehicle customers.

Explore Confidential Cloud Tower for granular access control and scope-limited data processing – and receive a free consultation for your specific use case from our experts!

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