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  • Mal McCallion

Derv perv: Your car wants to know about your sex life

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Buckle up - your car might know more about you than your best friend ...

From your political leanings to your favourite tunes, and shockingly, even your sex life, car manufacturers are collecting an astonishing amount of personal data. This revelation comes from a study conducted by the Mozilla Foundation, which scrutinised 25 car brands and found them all failing consumer privacy tests.

The study discovered that a staggering 84% of car companies review, share, or even sell data collected from car owners. This data isn't just about your car's mileage or fuel efficiency; it's personal. We're talking about where you drive, how fast you drive, and even what songs you're belting out in the car!

In an eyebrow-raising finding, Mozilla noted that Nissan and Kia include "sexual activity" in the data they collect. Kia's privacy policy even states it may process "special categories" of data, including information about your "sex life" and "political opinions".

Now, cars are becoming increasingly connected to the internet, and with the advent of autonomous driving, the amount of data they can collect is set to skyrocket. This data isn't just sitting idle; it's being used to infer things about you, like your interests and abilities.

While the industry is buzzing about the shift to electric propulsion, the real disruption may be in the realm of data privacy. As vehicles become more connected and autonomous, the sales of services like music and video streaming, driver assistance, and self-driving subscriptions are predicted to soar.

However, these services could be even more profitable if carmakers collect more data on customers. Tesla, for instance, failed all of Mozilla's reviews that looked at security, data control, and AI.

But don't lose all hope just yet! Renault and Dacia, both European brands protected by General Data Protection Regulation privacy law, stated that drivers have the right to delete their personal data.

So, next time you slide behind the wheel, remember: your car might be taking notes. And until regulations catch up, it's a wild ride in the fast lane of data privacy.

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