Endpoint Security , Governance & Risk Management , Internet of Things Security

Modern Vehicles: Data Vacuums on Wheels

Privacy Expert Andrea Amico Sizes Up the Risks Involved
Andrea Amico, founder of Privacy4Cars

Modern vehicles have been characterized as smartphones on wheels, but the analogy is reductive: They're more like rolling databases.

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There's increasing concern about the data that vehicles collect and how it is used. Always-connected cars are often transmitting data back to manufacturers, including metrics on driver behavior and, in some models, the weight of drivers and passengers. Some vehicles may collect up to 100 terabytes of data per year.

"You're typically looking at 50 to 100 computers on five separate networks with a couple of cellphones embedded into them - plus the cellphones that people bring to the car," says Andrea Amico, founder of Privacy4Cars, which offers a consumer and enterprise service for deleting data. Many drivers and passengers sync their phones with a vehicle's telematics system, potentially exposing personal data.

McKinsey & Co. estimates that monetizing data collected by cars for advertising and other purposes could be worth as much as $750 billion by 2030.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Amico discusses:

  • What types of personal data modern cars collect;
  • How the data collected by vehicles intersects with privacy and data protection laws;
  • Why data hygiene has to be applied to vehicles as it would to any other connected system.

Andrea Amico is the CEO and founder of Privacy4Cars, which offers a smartphone app that can delete personal data from vehicles. He's also an adjunct professor of engineering ethics at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

About the Author

Jeremy Kirk

Jeremy Kirk

Executive Editor, Security and Technology, ISMG

Kirk was executive editor for security and technology for Information Security Media Group. Reporting from Sydney, Australia, he created "The Ransomware Files" podcast, which tells the harrowing stories of IT pros who have fought back against ransomware.

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