Is your car spying on you?

Sat nav
8 Jan, 2014 1:00pm Jonathan Burn

New report says car makers and sat-nav firms could be storing your data, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft

A report by the U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO) has revealed manufactures that offer cars with built in location-based such as sat-nav, have been collecting data about drivers’ whereabouts and sharing that information with third party companies without disclosing the purpose for doing so.

Location based services rely on data collection in order to provide consumers with turn-by-turn directions and up-to-date traffic information.

However, the report was carried out by the GAO amid fears that the growing number of location based services offered in cars ‘can be used to track where consumers are, which can in turn be used to steal their identity, stalk them, or monitor them without their knowledge.’

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GAO published the article on Monday, which calls into the question drivers’ privacy and states that ‘data may be collected or shared for purposes that the consumer is not expecting or might not have agreed to’.

GAO also uncovered that even though manufacturers allow the consumer control over some of the data collected, not all permit that data to be deleted or destroyed – something which the GAO claims to be a ‘recommended practice’. The report also revealed ‘there is wide variation in how long companies retain vehicle-specific or personally identifiable location data.’

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