Turn to Tara: Could your car be tracking you?
Most of us have grown used to the idea of big tech and marketing companies tracking our habits through our cellphones -- but what about when you get the behind the wheel?
News 12's Tara Rosenblum investigated the new privacy concerns for car owners. From backup cameras and satellite navigation to even self-driving options -- cars these days are more sophisticated than ever before.
But the more high tech and "connected" they get, the bigger the risk for something you might not have even considered!
"It is tracking your every move," says Ondrej Krehel, the vice president of digital forensics for cybersecurity firm SecurityScorecard.
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Krehel says that the pattern of what you do in a day will be tracked.
“So for example… they're going to tell what time did you wake up? What time did you drop your children off at school? Or what time did you go to work? What are your habits? They can tell which type of coffee you like. What kinds of stores do you like. Are these expensive stores? Are these less expensive Stores? Do you like going to dinner with friends?” he says.
That data trove is then stored on a cloud system and usually funneled to the insurance companies. And nothing prevents your car manufacturer from then deciding to sell your data to third parties - with or without your consent.
If all of this has you concerned, you can always turn the geotracking option off from your car, but you'll want to know this before you do:
It might require you to actually go to an authorized dealer to basically turn it off. If you turn off your geotracking, your insurance might dramatically increase.
The Turn to Tara team reached out to several insurance companies who told them turning off the feature could actually triple or - in some cases - even quadruple your premiums.
You can try calling your dealer and ask these questions instead:
What are the terms and conditions in which my data will be shared?
Can I object from sharing my data?
Can my data stay private?
Concerns are likely to continue to ramp up, when you consider 95% of all the cars sold in the world are expected to have wireless data connections by 2030, up from about 50% today.
News 12 reached out to several lawmakers to ask what federal protections are on the books, but we were told Congress has yet to pass comprehensive federal data privacy legislation.
Auto Alliance - a group that represents the world's largest car makers - defended data collection in vehicles, saying it's crucial information for emergency roadside companies.
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