Locating the vehicle, recording conversations in the passenger compartment and when the doors were opened… Our connected cars store much more personal data than one might think. It is in all that reveals the last survey of our colleagues of the site NBC News.
When we talk about data protection and privacy, we often talk about our smartphones, with these applications that hide malware developed to siphon our personal information or steal our bank details. On the other hand, we tend to forget how modern cars have become data vacuum cleaners.
As explained by our colleagues from NBC News in their last report, connected cars have the capacity to collect all kinds of data: GPS location, hour and minute when the doors are open, recording of conversations in the passenger compartment, etc. For example, the NBC article recalls the story of Joshua Wessel.
Connected cars: a wealth of information for the authorities
The man in question has convicted of murder. He fell thanks to the victim’s truck infotainment system, which recorded the killer’s voice at the time of the tragedy. It must be said that for the investigators, infotainment systems are real gold mines : recent destinations, call logs, contact list, SMS, emails, images and videos received, web history, voice commands, social network activity, etc.
These systems can even record precise information on the driver’s smartphone (serial and build number, installed applications) from the moment the device has been connected via Bluetooth or USB connection to the car. In the context of a criminal case, all this information allows neither more nor less than reconstruct the route of a car and its driver.
Also read: Connected cars – “almost 100% have security flaws”!
“If you think about how many sensors there are in a car, the smartphone is just another toy. A car has a GPS, an accelerometer, a camera. A car will know how much you weigh exactly. Most people don’t realize what’s going on ”, alert Andrea Amico, founder of Privacy4Cars, a company that owns a free application for help drivers erase their data from their vehicles.
Much more worryingly, this data is not only accessible to the police force. NBC recalls the case of a man in Australia who used an app to access data from his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle. Once in the system, he was able to open or close the windows at will, and even turn off the ignition. Extremely dangerous.