Smart cars are becoming mainstream as well as prime time. Do they read as well? According to the safety concerns discussed in this article, they are not, and in more ways than one. There is unfortunately no way around this reality when it comes to the security of connected cars. Today’s smart cars are notorious for having vulnerabilities, due to the sensors, computers, software, and tools they use to control their functions. A continuous stream of stories and a large amount of evidence show that the data that smart cars obtain can be hacked and used for ill-intentioned purposes that can result in physical injury or even death.
What Are the Security Concerns with Smart Cars?
There is no way to completely anonymize any data with current technology. Using big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), etc., to process multiple data sets, the results almost always reveal specific individuals. Even if the data is collected anonymously and at the most minimalist level, the risk of re-identification remains due to other data that is combined with it and depending on which algorithms are used.
Since advanced data analytics has the ability to put together different pieces of data, every IoT communication is vulnerable. It is crucial to realize that privacy and data security by design are two completely different things than trying to secure information as it flies through the air.
The manufacturer of your connected car collects huge amounts of data on you each time you drive it. Compared to a few years ago, smart cars are much more connected now. The cars communicate with smart devices, other cars, and their manufacturers. During the time you own your connected car, what happens to the data that it collects and transmits? How does an owner deal with the driver data when selling connected data? In the former case, there is still some clarity, but not in the latter.
Your connected car emits several different data points each time you drive it, such as voice requests, entertainment choices, driving abilities, speeds, contacts, search history, locations, etc. The owner of a connected car can either transfer or delete the data they have stored on the app they have connected to their cars, such as OnStar or a manufacturer’s app. Unless you trust the new owner completely, the former can be a huge risk, whereas the latter is of very limited use since the app is the only place where information is stored.
Apparently, it’s not just the makers of smart cars or third-party apps like OnStar who collect the data your connected car accumulates, but they also sell it to third parties who use it for several different purposes. As an example, insurance companies use the data to provide customized services to their customers. By obtaining warrants, different law enforcement agencies, in certain jurisdictions, can also listen to your conversations inside your connected car and view its location history.