When Cars Talk to Each Other, Will Driver Privacy Suffer?

Your privacy interest in the data collected by your car may seem like an abstract issue. After all, we typically think of such data being stored, if at all, within the vehicle itself. But what about when cars begin shouting their identifying information to the world? That’s exactly what’s about to start happening.

In December 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a rule requiring automobile manufacturers to include vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication capability in all new models. The 2017 Cadillac CTS is set to become the first mass-production vehicle to include V2V as a standard feature. Many more will soon follow.

The motivation behind requiring V2V communication is straightforward. It is part of the infrastructure needed to lay the groundwork for increasingly autonomous driving. To be safe and reliable, computer-controlled vehicles must rely on multiple sources of data input in order to avoid collisions. In addition to video cameras, radar and LIDAR (light detection and ranging), autonomous vehicles will rely on transmissions from other vehicles—and will be broadcasting their own data as well—to help the vehicles stay out of the others’ way. And since planners contemplate the autonomous driving infrastructure keeping track of multiple vehicles in real time for traffic-control purposes, V2V is quickly morphing into vehicle-to-everything, or V2X.

A couple of weeks ago, I was among those from the Warner Norcross Privacy and Cybersecurity team to attend the annual IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C. One of the most interesting panels there included speakers from the DOT and Federal Trade Commission on privacy interests in V2V communications…

Read the rest of this post on Ahead of the Curve, the blog published by my firm’s Automotive Practice Group.