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Your Data For Sale? FCA, Google, and Apple

by David Zatz on

As cars come with more wireless tech, privacy issues are rising. As for privacy, the drivers’ personal information may be “for sale” just as their cellular and computer data.

carplay

A recent Automotive News article glanced on automakers’ plans to “monetizing” personal information, but mostly focused on Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay. Google mainly sells ads to make money, while Apple mainly sells hardware and software but also sells ads.

Automotive News quoted an Apple spokesman as saying that “All of the data is anonymized, not connected with other Apple services, and is not stored by Apple.”  Apple also said it was only gathering data to improve services (e.g. to help navigation).

A Google spokesman was quoted as saying that “owners who bring their mobile devices with them can elect whether or not to connect those devices inside the car.” The spokesman also said that the driver can choose to not share their data.

FCA is, according to industry insiders, planning to eventually support both CarPlay and Android Auto, along with most automakers. UConnect already supports outside apps, such as Pandora.

FCA uses Sprint for UConnect. Their privacy policy notes that while they collect a huge amount of data and share it with Sprint, they do not sell it or use it for marketing.

Time will tell whether Apple and Google are being fully truthful, and how easy they make it to truly opt out; especially since Google was recently found to be embedding an extension into Chrome which lets the company “listen in” to the computer’s microphone. One can turn off the use of the microphone, but the drivers’ names are obfuscated and appear to remain on at all times.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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