How your car could be stealing your private data

We live in the data age and generate millions of bytes of stuff every day. And that alone from our cars.

But do you know what this data says about you? How much ownership do you have on it? Where are you going? And how vulnerable does it make you to hackers?

Here we tell you everything you need to know about the information collected from your vehicle and who has access to it – and the answers might surprise you.

The facts about car data

How much information does your car have about your driving style?

Our cars collect certain types of data: where we drive, with whom, and how we drive.

In the past two decades, more and more cars have been equipped with a so-called Event Data Recorder (EDR). From 2022, every new car sold in the EU and UK will be equipped with an EDR as standard.

Think of them like the black boxes that are built into airplanes. The EDR records in a loop and stops recording on itself after an accident or impact.

This allows it to contain 10 seconds of pre-crash data. It records around 15 parameters including vehicle speed, accelerator pedal application percentage, brake pedal application, stability control activation and steering input.

The information can be used by police and insurers to determine who is at fault following an accident.

Cars can tell workshops when they need service

Many manufacturers now offer a feature where your car will let you know when it needs attention. The Service Center can then proactively contact you to arrange an appointment. But it’s a service that requires you to sign up, likely via a smartphone app. How your car could be stealing your private data

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