Modern Cars are Breeding Grounds for Data Privacy Violations

According to a Mozilla Foundation report, 25 major automakers allegedly collect and share extremely private data, including information about sexual activity and health.

Mozilla conducted tests on 25 major car manufacturers, and all of them did not meet privacy standards. The organization asserted that cars represent the most deficient product category they have evaluated in terms of privacy.

The evaluation examined privacy and security flaws in automobile brands from five different countries: the US, Germany, Japan, France, and South Korea. Following their ‘Privacy Not Included (PNI) buyer’s guide,’ researchers reportedly spent 600 hours reviewing privacy policies, downloading apps, and communicating with brands. According to Jen Caltrider, Mozilla PNI Program Director:

“All new cars today are privacy nightmares on wheels that collect huge amounts of personal information.”

As per the report, Nissan stands out as the most problematic. The Japanese automaker’s privacy policy reportedly acknowledges the collection of various data, including details related to sexual activity, health diagnoses, and genetic information. Explaining this, the Mozilla report states:

“They say they can share and sell consumers’ preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes to data brokers, law enforcement, and other third parties.”

Notably, Renault is reported as having fewer privacy issues. The Mozilla report adds Volkswagen gathers demographic data (such as age and gender) and driving behavior data (like seatbelt usage and braking patterns) for targeted marketing.

Related: German Teenager Hacks 25 Teslas

Moreover, the report also highlights that Toyota’s privacy policies are criticized for being excessively complex, comprising a multitude of 12 documents. Whereas, Kia’s privacy policy explicitly mentions the potential collection of information related to an individual’s “sex life.”

Additionally, Mercedes-Benz includes TikTok, an app with its own privacy concerns, in certain vehicle models. You can read more on the report from the official sources by clicking here.

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