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Motoring clubs bid to protect drivers’ privacy and control of car telematics data
Motoring organisations across Europe, including the AA, are campaigning to prevent real-time electronic data from car on-board systems being abused and any benefits being monopolised and controlled by a small number of businesses.
The modern car is increasingly able to transmit data about its whereabouts, condition, activities and use. This should be of huge benefit to car owners, particularly with emergencies and vehicle technical and operational data.
However, there is huge concern among European motoring organisations that the firms who manufacture and supply the equipment will try to control the data and its use, putting their interests ahead of consumers.
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
Edmund King, AA President
“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. When we advocate for open platforms, we mean standardised, secure platforms where a variety of businesses 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 campaign is characterised by three guiding consumer principles:
The debate surrounding access to data and connected cars coincides with the vote scheduled on 'eCall' on 23 January 2014. In addition to its dramatic potential to increase road safety – an eCall equipped car will call the emergency services automatically in the event of a crash – eCall is paving the way for vehicle connectivity to become a standard technology, bringing telematics into all vehicles.
With an increase in 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, for the benefit of motorists.
(22 January 2014)