Your car might be watching you to keep you safe − at the expense of your privacy

Depending on which late-model vehicle you own, your car might be watching you – literally and figuratively – as you drive down the road. It’s watching you with cameras that monitor the cabin and track where you’re looking, and with sensors that track your speed, lane position and rate of acceleration.

Your car uses this data to make your ride safe, comfortable and convenient. For example, the cameras can tell when you’ve been distracted and need to bring your attention back to the road. They can also identify when you are speeding by verifying the speed limit from your GPS position or traffic signs along the road and warn you to slow down. Some carmakers are also beginning to incorporate similar features for convenience, such as unlocking your car by scanning your face or fingerprint. Your car may also transmit some of this data to the manufacturer’s data centers, where the company uses it to improve your driving experience or provide you with personalized services…

A report by the Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit technology research and advocacy organization, found that carmakers’ privacy policies are exceedingly lax. The study identified cars as the “worst category of products for privacy that we have ever reviewed.”

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