72% of drivers concerned with OEMs sharing data with third parties

A new survey report from global cybersecurity and digital privacy company Kaspersky reveals that 72 per cent of drivers in the United States are uncomfortable with automotive manufacturers sharing their data with third parties — an issue that auto retailers may find is on the mind of more than some of their potential customers, as 37 per cent said they are “very uncomfortable.”

The report, entitled “Is my car spying on me?”, considers drivers’ thoughts on the use of personal data obtained from connected cars via OEMs. Eighty-seven per cent of those surveyed said automakers should be required to delete that information upon request, while only 28 per cent, to some extent, understand what type of data is being collected by their vehicle.

“It’s easy to take for granted how much your car knows about you,” said Kurt Baumgartner, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team, in a statement. He later added that “The bounds of property rights and ownership are clearly being bent, and people appear to be getting denied the level of control over their personal data that they expect.”

The company surveyed 2,000 U.S. drivers in November 2023 to better understand their level of awareness and concern around these issues. The results indicate that drivers may accept some amount of data collection, but they have limits; there appears to be a concern about what companies might do with their personal data and how poorly it may be secured. To highlight this point, 71 per cent of survey respondents said they would consider purchasing an older vehicle, or one with less technology, just to protect their privacy and security.

At the same time, security is also a concern for OEMs. The Kaspersky study that considered C-Suite auto executives’ supply chain security concerns found that 34 per cent of respondents said cybersecurity was their top-of-mind-worry when it comes to “the integration of infotainment systems and connectivity technology from software providers.”

Dealers may need to consider how they can approach this delicate topic with consumers, as cyber security and overall digital privacy concerns increase.

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