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Modern cars branded a ‘privacy nightmare’ by Mozilla

Your car tech is telling on you, but you knew that, right?

Published: 07 Sep 2023

Mozilla is better known for its web browser, Firefox. But the not-for-profit foundation also campaigns for digital privacy standards. It’s assessed 25 car brands, their infotainment suites and their privacy policies – and the news isn't great.

It concluded “cars [are] the official worst category of products for privacy that we have ever reviewed". And before we get into what concerns them so, you might need to grab a calming cup of chamomile.

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First up, Mozilla says every car brand collects “too much personal data”. ‘Too much’ is defined as more than is needed to run the motor and ‘manage their relationship with you’.

Secondly, the survey concluded that 84 per cent of motor manufacturers share your data and a worrying 76 per cent sell drivers’ personal data. And a couple even collect info on your - ahem - very personal data.

Thirdly, Mozilla found that 92 per cent give drivers little-to-no control over their personal data. In this category, only Renault and Dacia were found to have a mechanism for deleting it.

When it comes to security standards, according to Mozilla, dating apps publish more data than car makers. The lack of transparency also has the foundation worried.

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Like the charter for EV charging, Mozilla has a set of minimum standards for security. The first one is that all personal information is encrypted. But despite scrutinising all (often-protracted) privacy policies, it reckoned it couldn't confirm one brand that met any of them.

Given the increasing number of third-party apps integrated into the infotainment suites, perhaps none of this is very surprising.

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