Data collection in cars aren’t violating your privacy, judge says

Yeah, we need some federal privacy laws now!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief
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Data Collection Dismissal

A federal judge has upheld a decision to dismiss a class action lawsuit with regards to data collection. The suit alleges that automakers are collecting and recording passengers’ data unlawfully in Washington state. The ruling was made on Tuesday in Seattle. The claims brought forth by the plaintiffs were apparently not enough to be considered Washington Privacy Act violations.

There were five similar class action suits. Each claimed that certain automakers “recorded and intercepted [car owners’] private txt messages and call logs”. The automakers in question are Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, General Motors, and Ford. This happens when the phones are connected to the infotainment systems of the cars. Ford’s case has already been dismissed.

The federal judge agreed with the dismissal of the last four cases. They, too, didn’t meet the WPA’s statutory injury requirement. This says that plaintiffs must allege an injury to their person, reputation, or business.

Plaintiffs’ allegation that a violation of the WPA itself is enough to satisfy injury to a ‘person’… without more, is insufficient to meet the statutory requirement.”

Federal judge’s ruling

Personal thoughts

Let’s break this down. It seems that as long as automakers don’t do anything with the collected data, there is no issue here. I’d beg to differ. If the data is being collected without my express consent, that’s an issue. Also, if the data is being sent somewhere, that should also be a violation. I’m no longer in control of where my data goes. When I take my car to get serviced, who’s to say that mechanics can’t access the data without my knowledge.

We need only look at what was happening with Tesla. The cameras on the car were collecting data and having it being sent somewhere without prior knowledge is an issue.

It’s starting to look like Washington needs to fix their laws. Better yet, we need something at the federal level. Protecting customers from data collection when it comes to things we use every day is a huge issue.

I would like to point out it is unrelated to systems like Apple’s CarPlay or Android Auto. Those systems are closed off from the car. Only a screen from the phone is projected to the car display. I feel this distinction is important as conversations were had about it last night.

Source: The Verge

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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