The Mozilla Foundation found about half of automakers will hand over your private data to authorities without a warrant. And it gets even worse.
Are you driving some old hooptie that doesn’t even have one of those cool touchscreens dominating the center stack of your dash? Do you wish you had onboard WiFi to smooth out those data blind spots as you’re driving through certain spots in your hometown? Well, you might not realize it, but your older car is protecting your privacy better than if you had a shiny new ride like your neighbor’s. This has been confirmed yet again, this time by the Mozilla Foundation.
The nonprofit organization released a damning reporting on the utter lack of privacy in newer cars, calling them “a privacy nightmare.” With all the latest and greatest technologies packaged in your ride, all kinds of info about your habits, conversations, and other intimate preferences is being captured by automakers who in turn can and do share that with others.
Just how bad is it? Mozilla says out of the 25 car brands it looked into, every one failed privacy standards, earning the infamous *Privacy Not Included warning label. In other words, buy a newer car at your own risk.
Among the juicy details in Mozilla’s report is the conclusion that all the brands collected more personal info than necessary. That’s scary considering the organization claims our cars gain more personal data than even smartphones and smart devices. Think about it: your car knows where you go and when, what music you listen to, what temperature you like the cabin to be, how fast you typically drive, even medical information. Combine that with the conclusion that 84% of major automakers selling customer data and there’s big cause for concern.
Also concerning, Mozilla found 56% of car brands say they’ll share your info with government/law enforcement upon an “informal request” – not even a warrant or court order!
But don’t worry, Mozilla also concluded security for your modern car is likely incredibly porous. Automakers apparently didn’t want to talk to the organization about security standards, so Mozilla couldn’t definitively conclude if any encrypt drivers’ personal data or not. How comforting. Maybe the government won’t even need to ask to see where you were last night.
Before the Tesla crowd waxes smug, Tesla was included in this report and it came in last for privacy out of all the car brands. Mozilla says it’s the second time ever that a product has been given all its privacy “dings” which should give anyone with a Tesla plenty to seethe and cope about.
Read the Mozilla Foundation report for yourself here.
Images via Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Acura