Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Personal data usage: what your car really says about you

Stumbled across this article on the motoring page of the Guardian newspaper.

Cars will soon be so linked into wireless networks they will be like giant rolling smartphones. Ford has already started to integrate web services such as Spotify into their dashboard systems and this looks like the first step to introducing a real-time data collection service to your car. This new vision of in-car big data goes far beyond the current engine management monitoring that garages use when you take your car in for servicing.

A few examples of this brave new world:

- Low on fuel? Soon a petrol station app may know before you do.
- Tyres need rotating? Your car may wirelessly alert your dealership when it's time.
- Ready for a lunch break? Your car can make a reasonable guess based on the hour.

Are these realistic? Well, according to the article "…more than 60% of vehicles worldwide will be connected directly to the internet by 2017, up from 11% last year, predicts ABI Research. In North America and Europe, that is likely to reach 80%.". That means a lot of new data streams to be harvested by car dealers, manufacturers, insurance companies, finance companies etc. Not forgetting law enforcement agencies! Our every movement within our car could be tracked and interpreted by all sorts of agencies. 

As always the issue is going to be how has access to all this information because at the moment few laws exist to govern who can see and use such data.

The article is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/mar/12/cars-internet-data-privacy-debate.

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