On 22 January 2014, FIA Region I urged MEPs and stakeholders to include a high level of data protection and an open platform concept as part of all legislation concerning vehicle telematics during a lunch debate hoted by MEP Anna Rosbach at the European Parliament. At the event, the FIA also launched the video ‘Access to data and your car‘ to emphasise the core consumer principles for policymakers to keep in mind as vehicle connectivity becomes a reality.

“We must make sure that the consumer, who is the one paying for the technology, is also the one in charge of the data that is shared. This starts with informed consent from the user,” said FIA Region I Director General, Jacob Bangsgaard. He continued “When we advocate for open platforms, we mean standardised, secure platforms where a variety of stakeholders can develop services for the consumer. This will ensure a fair and open aftermarket for vehicle data. Most importantly, it will offer free choice to drivers.”

The FIA’s consumer principles for access to data and connected cars:

Data protection
Legislation should ensure informed consent on access to a car’s data. This means that consumers need to be fully information about what data is being transmitted and for what purpose. Drivers should retain ownership of the data their car produces and control over how it is used for as long as they own the vehicle.

Free choice
Drivers should have the right to choose their preferred service provider and match the right products and level of service to their needs. The right to choose from a variety of safe product functionalities needs to be guaranteed. The service providers must also be changeable throughout the lifetime of the vehicle and without any additional administrative burden.

Fair competition
A variety of service providers should have the right to develop products and functionalities for car data, ensuring fair competition in an open market place. This enables the driver’s ability choose their preferred service provider to access vehicle data and offer associated functionalities via an open, secure telematics platform.

“We strongly urge the Parliament to unlock the full potential of the connected car by means of interoperable, standardised, secure and open-access platforms,” said Thierry Willemarck, FIA Region I President. He continued, “With open platforms and consumer awareness, drivers will be in control, choosing what data to share, with whom and for which purpose.”

The debate surrounding access to data and connected cars was framed within the vote scheduled on eCall in early February. In addition to its dramatic potential to increase road safety, eCall is paving the way for vehicle connectivity to become a standard technology, bringing telematics into all vehicles. With an increase the speed and penetration of telematics platforms, consumer protection concerns become relevant. Although the connected car can assist the driver and make travel safer, more comfortable and more efficient, it must ensure informed consent on data sharing and a fully functioning aftermarket to benefit motorists.

For more information, visit FIA Region I website.