economics · government · science · technology

Automakers to share info with government that may cause privacy concerns for drivers

cartechnologyFord, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and 9 other motor vehicle companies have joined forces to establish a center for sharing and analyzing cyber security data should hackers target their vehicles in order to prevent such attacks. The center is scheduled to be opened in a few months.

They also expect to let the government in on any information they swap within their group to meet President Obama’s desire to have both private and public sector work together to combat hacking. The organization is looking to the government to establish legal protections to make that possible and two bills are currently working their way through Congress to give automakers some type of immunity to guard against lawsuits over privacy when they submit any information to the government.

Once their initiative gets off the ground, the car companies expect other businesses to join them, such as auto parts suppliers, tech companies, and telecommunications providers. But there are some misgivings between automakers and tech companies about how much should be shared, given that Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations put tech companies in a bad light as co-conspirators with the government in spying on customers and that neither side wants to supply the other with information that could help in the manufacturing of self-driving vehicles.

Privacy will be of huge concern for consumers, given the fact the government is still determined to place even innocent citizens under surveillance and is mulling ways to control motor vehicle movements under the guise of fighting climate change by taxing mileage.

Harry A. Gaylord

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