A new tool promises to disclose exactly how a car spies on you when you drive it.
The new Privacy4Cars’ Vehicle Privacy Report helps you to see how your vehicle’s manufacturer collects data on you that it then shares with and sells to others. The tool is free.
To use the Privacy4Cars’ Vehicle Privacy Report, you simply enter your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). Then, you get a report that includes two components:
- A Vehicle Privacy Label made up of 10 icons that you can click to gain access to information about the data collection, sharing and selling practices of vehicle manufacturers
- A Vehicle Privacy History that includes known actions a company has taken to protect customer privacy
Using the tool, you can learn about the personal information your vehicle’s manufacturer collects, including:
- Biometric data
- Data from synched phones
- User profiles
You also will learn more about the entities that the manufacturer shares your data with. This might include affiliates, service providers, insurance companies, government agencies and data brokers.
In a press release, Andrea Amico, Privacy4Cars founder and CEO, says many consumers don’t realize that simply by purchasing a new car, they are agreeing to share personal information.
The new Privacy4Cars tool is designed to quickly show drivers how that information is being used. As Amico says in the press release, in the past, car owners who wanted this information were required to endure hours of research and to show a willingness to sift through legal documents:
“We realized this was a massive transparency challenge for both consumers who are unable to factor privacy into their purchasing decisions, and also for auto businesses who lack a simple way to disclose to their customers those data agreements that nowadays are an integral part of buying, renting, financing, and insuring a vehicle.”
Calling privacy “the new safety,” Amico says in the press release that Privacy4Cars hopes the new tool will raise awareness about data-sharing practices to such a degree that auto manufacturers will be incentivized to “improve their practices and distinguish themselves from the competition when they build, sell, buy, rent, loan, finance, and insure vehicles.”