(WTTV/WXIN) — In a world of smartphones, digital assistants and other connected technology, a new report claims cars are “the worst” when it comes to invading our privacy.
That is the conclusion of the report by the Mozilla Foundation, which says “cars are the worst product category we have every reviewed for privacy.”
Automakers have been bragging for years that modern cars are like computers on wheels with roughly 1,400 microchips in the average modern vehicle.
Unfortunately, privacy policies aren’t keeping up with the technology, according to Mozilla. And we consumers are feeding it information by interacting with the in-car apps that connect to our phones, and third parties like Google.
Kia’s policy says the same thing and also collects information about any medical conditions or disabilities a driver may have. Remember, modern cars come equipped with multiple cameras, microphones and other sensors.
The Mozilla Foundation’s report found that 84% of carmakers share or sell drivers’ data to data brokers, service providers or the government or police if they request it. 92% give drivers little or no control over their personal data. Only 2 of the 25 car brands give drivers the right to have their information deleted.
If you’re concerned about this and you want to change your car’s privacy settings, don’t focus on the car. Focus on the apps and services it’s connected to. Adjust your iOS settings if you’re connected to your iPhone, or the same for an Android phone.
Don’t use Amazon Alexa if you’re concerned about your car collecting voice requests, locations or IP addresses. And before you sell or trade in your car, make sure you wipe it clean by disconnecting the app notifying the company.
Mozilla is currently collecting names for an online petition to get the laws on this changed. You’ll find that petition here.