Battle over data privacy moves to vehicles

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 4, 2014 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The ever-evolving capabilities of modern digital technologies have created a revolution in onboard computing in automobiles, allowing for data generation, multifaceted navigational programs and diagnostic sensors that can relay performance information on the condition of the car itself. However SB 994 (Monning) would interfere with the relationship between car manufacturers and their customers by imposing unnecessary and potentially harmful requirements with regard to control of thedata gathered by these systems. 

Customers already have significant control over the use of relevant information collected in their vehicles. While the intent of the bill is to further protect information and empower customers, the bill would impose new data management functionality and access rights that would actually increase the opportunity for mischief and harm to customers. Purposeful hacking as well as security breaches caused by customers or third party actions will be more likely with this bill, and as a result manufacturers will be reluctant to extend warranty protections or to offer innovative information systems in vehicles.

Attempts in the bill to require both broader access to data and to maintain a high level of manufacturer responsibility for misuse or misdirection of information will only have the effect of limiting the availability of vehicle data systems in the marketplace.

California is rightfully proud of its role in developing the information and other technologies for improved vehicle safety and lower environmental impacts. The Legislature needs to reject SB 994 and send a strong message that California intends to stay on the leading edge of vehicle information technology while protecting important consumer rights. 

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