On 15 February, FIA Region I revealed detailed consumer concerns related to the connected car, collected from a public survey of 12,000 people throughout the EU. Although many expressed a high level of interest in connectivity, respondents also issued a clear message: vehicle connectivity must respect certain conditions and address privacy concerns before consumers will adopt this technology. Across the 12 countries surveyed, 90% say that vehicle data belongs to the owner or driver of the vehicle. An overwhelming 91% wanted the possibility to switch off connectivity. A further 76% wanted to decide when and for how long consent to access car data should last. In the case of a breakdown, an overwhelming majority felt that they should get to choose who repairs the car.

Citizens are most concerned about the disclosure of private information (88%), commercial use of personal data (86%), vehicle hacking and vehicle tracking all of which is possible with today’s connected vehicles. 95% of people surveyed believed that there was a need for specific legislation to protect their rights to their vehicle and driver data.

Jacob Bangsgaard, FIA Region I Director General said: “Consumers have spoken; they are interested and willing to embrace connected cars if the conditions are right. They require strong data protection with informed consent of why data is tracked and for what purpose. Data protection is a hot topic in the online space and it is time to bring that into the mobility sector. We urge policymakers to take advantage of existing legislation, such as on eCall or vehicle repair and maintenance information, to ensure data protection. To fully empower consumers there must be a free choice of service providers and fair competition. Now is the time for policymakers to define consumer rights for connected cars.”

In the autumn of 2015, FIA Region I revealed exactly what data new vehicles are able to track and transmit. The investigation of two vehicles, a conventionally-fuelled vehicle and an electric vehicle found that, in addition to the creation of driver profiles, information such as, vehicle location, trip length and personal information synced from mobile phones are tracked and can be transmitted back to the manufacturer. The preliminary results of the public survey were also released at this time. Based on the data in these two studies, FIA Region I and its members across Europe launched the My Car My Data campaign, to raise public awareness on vehicle data and to call for privacy legislation and a fair after-market for connected vehicle services.

Original source and photo: FIA Region I