May 18, 2023 – New cars are computers on wheels. The average vehicle nowadays has over 1,400 microchips in it. Because your car is connected, it can also collect a lot of data about you.
Your car is like your phone, computer or tablet now — always listening. Here’s how to stop Big Tech from listening in.
There’s also stalkerware to worry about. Take steps to spot and block these dangerous spy apps.
What is your vehicle collecting? A new online tool shows all the info your car has on you.
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What do they want to know?
The Vehicle Privacy Report is made by a company called Privacy4Cars. The company deletes synched personal data from used cars before they’re resold. This is how carmakers comply with privacy laws.
There’s a way you can tap into their work. All you have to do is enter your car’s VIN, and the tool spits out all the privacy policies about the company that built your vehicle.
Here’s what you may find when you plug in your VIN:
- Details like your name, address, email address and driver’s license number.
- Location data that shows where you are and where you went.
- Biometrics collected by your car’s microphone and camera.
- Voice recordings collected by your car’s voice assistant.
- Data synced from your connected devices, like call records, text messages or contacts.
The tool also lists who your information is shared with — think insurance companies, the government and data brokers.
If you use GPS, ask for directions or make calls via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, your car probably has much more dirt on you.
No shame: Carmakers are charging subscriptions for a lifesaving feature
The full rundown
One of my team members drives a Kia. Vehicle Privacy Report returned a complete rundown of the car. Kia uses the information it collects to predict your “preferences, characteristics, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, or similar behavioral information.”
The Korean carmaker also shares and sells that info to its parent companies, subsidiaries and sister companies, and service providers (analytics partners, advertising agencies, and social networks).
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They’ll also share your information at the government’s request. You can delete all that data from your car.
Want to delete tracking data from your car?
Privacy4Cars has a free iOS and Android app that deletes your personal information from vehicles you drive or are connected to. This includes your phone book, call logs, text messages, navigation history, home address, garage door codes, passwords, biometrics, and vehicle credentials.
The app includes visual step-by-step instructions and makes it easy for you to remove personal information. Use Privacy4Cars after every rental and rideshare before selling, turning in, or trading your vehicle.
Keep your tech-know going
My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.
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