Big Brother at the Wheel

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Mercedes 2

[Amyx+‘s article on Data Privacy Playbook for Wearables and IoT cited on EE Times.]

‘A car is one’s second living room today,’ says Audi chief. ‘That’s private. The only person who needs access to the data onboard is the customer.’

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to judge whether a “space” is private or public, in light of the reality that whatever technology we carry constantly collects and sends out data from wherever we are — via smartwatch, smartphone or the system in the family car.

Not long ago, when we held an EE Times Radio Show on “Why Connect a Car?,” one astute reader posed a question, which I paraphrase: “Is the data collected via autonomous cars considered ‘public domain,’ since it was obtained on public roads?”

We’re all aware of the Orwellian nightmares about the possible impact on privacy of remote tracking in autonomous cars.

On one hand, I suspect that monitoring, tracking and remotely controlling autonomous cars is probably a necessary evil for the safe operation of self-driving cars.

On the other hand, I admit that I know little about legal grounds for collecting such data. Do I want Big Brother to know where I’ve been in an autonomous car? Is it OK for Big Brother to share that data with somebody, anybody, everybody? How will my passengers’ data be protected? What are the legal obligations for carmakers in the future?

To read the full article, visit EE Times. Published on June 10, 2015. Author Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent.