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New California Law Creates Complications for Connected Cars


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A license plate, and a map of California.

The California Consumer Privacy Act grants consumers greater access to their personal data and, in some cases, more control over how that data is collected and shared. Exactly what complications the law introduces for carmakers and dealerships remains unclear.

Credit: Automotive News

Cars learn a lot from their owners. They know about their location. Where they're parked at night. What routes they usually take to work. What doctor's offices they visit. What churches they attend.

They know about their driving habits: how often they brake hard; how loud they set the volume; when and where they drive faster than the speed limit.

As they've added new connections to cars, automakers have increasingly harvested and stored such information to establish new revenue streams, using it for advertising purposes or selling it to third parties.

But a stringent new California law that went into effect at the start of this year presents new challenges. The California Consumer Privacy Act grants consumers greater access to their personal data that companies keep tabs on and perhaps, in some cases, more control over how that data is collected and shared.

Exactly what complications the CCPA introduces for carmakers and dealerships remains unclear. The law focuses on personal data, not vehicle information. Some provisions remain ambiguous, and attorneys and lawmakers say they are seeking clarification from the state's attorney general on how they might apply to auto-related data. But overall, says Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Californians should be capable of exercising CCPA rights against the car companies.

 

From Automotive News


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