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GAO: Automakers Sharing Vehicle Data ‘on Relatively Limited Basis’

In a recent analysis for Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 13 of 16 automakers reported collecting, using and sharing data from connected vehicles “on a relatively limited basis.”

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Today’s vehicles are marvels of mechanical engineering and digital technology. While increased connectivity expands the possibilities for convenience and safety features, it also has led to concerns over data security and privacy.

In a recent analysis for Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 13 of 16 automakers reported collecting, using and sharing data from connected vehicles “on a relatively limited basis.”

“For example, they reported using data to provide requested services to consumers and for research and development,” the GAO says in the analysis.

Perhaps most importantly, none of the 13 automakers “reported sharing or selling data that could be linked to a consumer for unaffiliated third parties’ use.”

“However, as connected vehicles become more commonplace, the extent of data collection, use and sharing will likely grow,” the GAO adds.

While the automakers have taken steps to address data privacy – including signing on to a set of privacy principles – the GAO notes that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “has not clearly defined its roles and responsibilities as they relate to the privacy of vehicle data.”

“By clearly defining, documenting and communicating NHTSA’s roles and responsibilities in vehicle data privacy, NHTSA would be better-positioned to coordinate with other federal agencies and to effectively oversee emerging vehicle technologies,” GAO concludes.

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To download the report, visit the GAO website.

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