Nineteen automakers accounting for most of the passenger cars and trucks sold in the U.S. have signed onto a set of principles they say will protect motorists’ privacy in an increasingly digital era.
It’s interesting how information pops up at the same time by coincidence when you are looking. I was just reading about Carnegie Mellon’s Privacy Grade site http://privacygrade.org/home which identifies Android apps (Apple to come) where your information is likely to be shared with 3rd parties such as advertisers.
An example of one that rates a C (A is trustworthy and D is not good) is Angry Birds. What’s of real concern to me is that you might let your children play games like Angry Birds on your phone, not knowing that information about you, your location, behaviors, possibly even contact data may be sold to advertisers or others. If you have Angry Birds on your mobile device, your information is being shared with Facebook, Admob, MoPub and other advertisers to name a few.
Amongst other things this game can access your phone number, current state, device ID, carrier and a lot more. I don’t know if that only applies to the Freemium version, or if you are doing the same when you pay. The important thing is, did you know that ‘you’ had authorized that?
It’s great to see car manufacturers understanding the implications of privacy. Now it may be that privacy is already a thing of the past despite laws designed to protect us. The thing that these brands have worked out is that people may love the features but value their privacy and therefore choose not to buy a particular car because the manufacturer is sharing information with advertisers about where and when you are driving it.
I want to know how far away the nearest gas station is when I’m running low and I think it would be cool to have my car not only tell me that I have been driving for 2 hours and should take a break (which it does) but also where I can go to grab a coffee at a place with a good reputation and on my route is. The same with traffic, tell me there is a major incident ahead and suggest either an alternate route or somewhere good to wait it out, based on my preferences or interests. BUT, don’t ever share my data with a 3rd party without my express informed consent.
This is a very good move on behalf of these brands, who are showing not only that they want to be trustworthy, but that they understand implications of privacy and customer needs. Intelligent Transport Systems are the way of the very near future and we need standards. We need to protect people who don’t understand the technology and lets face it, that’s probably most of us…..