The world’s automakers have a message for customers: where you drive and how you drive is your business, not ours.
Cars are rapidly transforming into smartphones on wheels, sending enormous amounts of data to manufacturers over connected-car services such as General Motors’ OnStar or through built-in 4G data connections.
Hoping to harness this data to offer more services without eliciting an outcry over the misuse of personal information, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Mazda today agreed to industry-wide principles to handle consumer data and safeguard customer privacy.
The principles, crafted by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers, two Washington, D.C., trade groups, will require the companies to receive permission for certain uses of data by model year 2017 at the latest, with a one-year extension available if engineering changes are required.
“Modern cars not only share the road but will in the not-too-distant future communicate with one another,” John Bozzella, president of the Association of Global Automakers, said in a statement. “Vigilance over the privacy of our customers and the security of vehicle systems is an imperative.”