Cars are less private than a nude beach

Cars are packed to the gills with technology these days, leading to various problems like production shortages, rampant theft, and now, major privacy concerns

Driving the news: A new study by the Mozilla Foundation deemed modern cars the “worst category of products for privacy” that it had ever reviewed. Out of the 25 car brands Mozilla looked at, every single one was judged to disclose more personal info than necessary.

  • The report found that 92% of the brands provide little (usually no) driver control over how their personal data is used, with 84% of the automakers sharing data with third parties.

  • Tesla was deemed the worst brand for privacy protections, but KIA and Nissan received special scorn for collecting and sharing data about a driver’s perceived sex life.

Why it matters: The sheer volume of data collection means higher risks of sensitive info falling into the wrong hands. And unlike other products where you can shop around for a safer option, when it comes to buying a new car, the concerns remain for any automaker. 

Why it’s happening: Cars don’t just get you from Point A to Point B anymore. With sensors, cameras, microphones, and smartphone connectivity, they also collect mountains of data.  

  • Aside from tracking travel, today’s vehicles can record everything from how often you punch the accelerator, what music you listen to, and your biometric data. 

That data is very valuable. There’s a huge ecosystem of buyers that’s growing by the day; the connected vehicle data market could be a US$800 billion industry by 2030. 

Bottom line: With some brands offering increased privacy as a luxury selling point, if you need a new ride, maybe you’re better off buying a low-tech used car. May we suggest a 2006 Dodge Neon?—QH