Connected Cars Create New Challenges for Protected Information

Connected cars talk to us, the internet, wireless devices, other connected cars, and soon they will talk to roadway infrastructure. Even worse, they’re listening.

In an ever-growing internet of things, connected cars are like gigantic Amazon Echos – listening to us speak and collecting data. Often this data is mundane, but, as people become more comfortable with the new world order, there will be an undoubted increase in the collection of personal and highly sensitive data. This will be a new frontier in the world of privacy and security challenges.

Most companies have legally prescribed standards on how they must handle certain protected information, whether it’s the financial information associated with customers or health information from patient records. Connected cars now need to be a consideration in your risk management plan.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are holding a public workshop to “examine the consumer privacy and security issues posed by automated and connected motor vehicles.” They will discuss the regulatory future of connected cars and talk about the security issues raised by massive data collection in a new platform.

The amount of data collected by smart cars will be staggering. Fortune magazine predicts that by 2020, autonomous vehicles will generate roughly 4,000 gigabytes of data per day. That’s nearly the same amount of data produced by 3,000 people using their computers, smart phones, and wearable devices in the same amount of time.

Thousands of cars are already connected to the internet and soon most new production vehicles will be connected. Any device connected to the internet poses security risks. People need to start thinking about how they can maintain the privacy and security of any protected information they may be sharing while multi-tasking on the commute. In the same way you shouldn’t email credit card numbers or health records on your AOL account, maybe think twice about having a conversation about those records with KITT listening in.

 

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