Smart cars share revealing info about drivers
The family car is learning more about who’s behind the wheel — everything from where a driver likes to shop to how hard they brake — as automakers roll out new tech-savvy features.
With cars collecting and even sharing more personal data, Canada’s privacy watchdog is quietly trying to ensure manufacturers, retailers and insurance companies avoid bumps on the virtual highway.
On-board navigation systems can tell where a vehicle is and where it has been. Electronic components stream data to computers that gauge driver behaviour and the car’s roadworthiness. Vehicles recognize drivers and adjust settings for them. Infotainment systems allow voice and data communications.
“With connectivity, cars are becoming highly efficient data harvesting machines,’’ says a 2015 study by the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.
Customer data generated by the connected car is now seen as a major new source of revenue for marketers and advertisers, the study found. Some insurance companies are offering coverage that sets premiums based on driving patterns.