The electronic systems in millions of newer cars could allow hackers to access critical systems or compromise the privacy of drivers' personal information.
Consumer Reports recently visited labs at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration where computer experts are looking at the issue and told us that, while they have no evidence of any real world instance of car hacking yet, it's less an "if" than a "when."
Further, wireless systems in cars and trucks can record and send location or driving history to third parties. Data, including travel routes, vehicle location and drivers' habits, can be obtained without the driver's informed consent.
According to a new report by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), auto companies are failing to secure their wireless systems against privacy intrusions and, in some cases, even sharing personal vehicle information such as where drivers parked with third parties. This report was based on responses from 16 major auto manufacturers about how driver information is collected and protected.
The report also noted how security measures to protect personal information and prevent remote access to vehicle electronics are inconsistent and haphazard across the different manufacturers.
Take a stand for your privacy and vehicle safety. Urge Congress to mandate strong standards to protect the data, security and privacy of drivers.
Dear Congressional Lawmakers,
I am deeply concerned by Senator Ed Markey's findings that automakers are tracking vehicle information for millions of cars and trucks without owners' informed consent and have left drivers vulnerable to hacking through wireless systems for navigation, communication and infotainment.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
Consumers Union (CU) is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.