New Delhi: A recent report from the Mozilla Foundation, the prominent American non-profit supporting the ‘Mozilla’ free software community, has made startling allegations against 25 major automobile manufacturers. According to the report, these automakers are purportedly involved in the collection and dissemination of highly personal data, encompassing sensitive details like sexual activity, facial expressions, genetic information, and health records.
Mozilla’s comprehensive assessment claims that all 25 auto brands tested in their study fell short in terms of privacy, leading them to declare cars as the “worst product category” they have ever evaluated in this context.
Our #PrivacyNotIncluded team has reviewed 25 top car brands and TL;DR; your vehicle is pretty much privacy hell on wheels. 🚗 ⚠️
From biometrics to genetics and even your sex life, there’s not much your car isn’t collecting. More here ⤵️ https://t.co/NgmpqZCOIn
— Mozilla (@mozilla) September 6, 2023
The examination delved into the privacy and security vulnerabilities across car manufacturers from five countries: the United States, Germany, Japan, France, and South Korea. The research process reportedly consumed 600 hours, including activities such as scrutinizing privacy policies, downloading applications, and engaging in correspondence with the brands, all part of Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included (*PNI) buyer’s guide.
Jen Caltrider, the PNI Program Director at Mozilla, expressed concerns, stating, “All new cars today are privacy nightmares on wheels that collect huge amounts of personal information.”
A study conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2016 estimated that by 2030, the monetization of car data could develop into a $750 billion industry. Caltrider underscores the evolving perceptions of privacy in vehicles, asserting that while many people view their cars as private spaces for personal calls, confidential conversations with loved ones, emotional moments, or private journeys, the reality increasingly contrasts with this perception. The data collection practices of modern vehicles challenge this notion, raising substantial concerns about personal privacy.
As connected technology continues to proliferate in automobiles, the risk of privacy breaches looms large. The pivotal question that arises from this dilemma is whether consumers are willing to embrace the latest technological advancements in vehicles, even at the potential cost of compromising their privacy.