A modern car is potentially loaded with data: it could be collecting performance stats, where you've been and your internet usage. How do you know that it's not secretly sending that data to advertisers and insurers? You might not have to worry much longer. The Auto Alliance (which includes most major American and German brands) has published a set of privacy principles that will limit both the info these companies collect from your car and dictate how they handle it. If all goes according to plan, the voluntary rules will kick in with the 2017 model year as well as any services that launch in 2016.
For the most part, the guidelines take a fair shot at balancing convenience and privacy. If the automakers need to collect biometrics, location or driving behavior for marketing or third parties, they'll ask for your explicit permission. They'll also scoop up only the data they absolutely need to accomplish a given task, anonymize it when possible and make sure that it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. They'll publish the scope of their collection activities in public places (like their websites) and let you review data from diagnostics and services. Importantly, any content from an event data recorder is yours; if you speed on the highway, your car shouldn't rat you out.
There are some holes here. The vendors won't require direct consent when getting data for a few tasks you might not always be comfortable with, such as internal research or facilitating corporate mergers. You'll notice a lot of "maybes," too. Automakers may post privacy notices online, for instance, but there are no promises that they'll appear in the car itself. And while the Alliance includes big-name marques like BMW, Ford and Toyota, it conspicuously omits Honda and Nissan. This pledge won't apply to your future Civic or Leaf, folks. But hey, it's a start -- and the group is quick to add that their principles aren't set in stone, so there's chances for improvement in the months ahead.
Update: Turns out that the membership is larger than we were told ahead of time. Honda and Nissan are present, as are Korean manufacturers and supercar brands like Aston Martin and Ferrari.
http://www.engadget.com/2014/11/13/car- ... rinciples/