MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. As car companies become more connected to the internet, it also turns out that they become powerful tools for gathering data about their users. The New York Times reports that a modern car can track when you are breaking the law and exceeding the speed limit. Your car can also track your phone calls, listen in on what radio you like to hear, and even log your searches.
While the law limits what your car’s black box can use and record, your car is capable of gathering quite a bit of information about you and your passengers. As cars use GPS systems, your car may even be able to track where you go, when you go there, and how long you spend at a given destination. The New York Times notes that companies can gather your data and U.S. law doesn’t necessarily require companies to remove your personal identifying information from data the company collects.
The data a car company collects can actually be quite valuable to the industry and to other companies. The data shows what stores you visit, what kind of job you have, what neighborhood you live in, and what music you listen to. According to QZ, in China, this information is for sale. A Chinese company was using car data to create consumer profiles of Mercedes-Benz car owners. The information could also track a driver’s habits. Does he or she speed? Does he or she drive carefully? These habits could also be used to create robust consumer profiles.
While most of us might bristle at the thought of our information being up for sale, is there ever a case where this information could be useful or when it could protect us? If a driver is a habitual speeder or habitual texter and driver, for example, this information could be potentially useful in a personal injury claim. However, because the information gathered is often protected by law, it might be difficult for a personal injury lawyer to gather this information—for now.
In the future, it may be possible to get a warrant to gather information about drivers who have injured others in accidents. This information can be used to give families answers about what happened in the event of a crash. Until data is used to protect drivers, individuals should take steps to protect themselves. First off, consider turning off your car’s applications. Not only will you protect your data, but you will also eliminate a potential distraction to your driving. Secondly, turn off your phone. Phone integration features could store more data, but also, using your phone while driving can be incredibly dangerous.
Finally, if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, consider speaking to the qualified Minneapolis, Minnesota car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino. Our firm can gather information about your crash, the other driver, and help you seek justice for your accident. Visit us today at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more.