Tesla tops Mozilla’s list of ‘most feared’ automakers, but 25 brands fail basic data privacy tests

Nonprofit Mozilla has named automobiles the “worst product category” ever reviewed in terms of data privacy, according to research released Wednesday. Our Privacy Uninvolved research section reviews everything from smart home devices to health and wellness apps. But of the 25 car brands the research team studied, none made it past the ratings, with major brands like Tesla, Nissan and Hyundai landing at the top of the worst-of-the-worst list.

Tesla got a mark against it for untrustworthy use of artificial intelligence, making it the second product reviewed by Mozilla that failed every privacy test it’s ever run. This is because the AI-powered autopilot feature has caused many deaths and hundreds of accidents. Meanwhile, companies such as Nissan and Kia say they can collect information about your sexuality and sexuality, and Hyundai pledges to comply with “legal requests, formal or informal” to share your information with government and law enforcement.

This made Renault, Dacia and BMW the ‘least scary’ car options. The researchers couldn’t confirm whether Renault, which also owns Dacia, encrypts the data it collects, which isn’t much beyond what is required by data privacy law, but compared to others it’s not the worst. The reason for BMW landing at the top of the list was also marginal, with the researchers basing it on the fact that the automaker does not explicitly say it sells data to third parties for advertising purposes, while other manufacturers explicitly claim they do. “From our reading of BMW’s privacy policy, they might not. But we’re also not 100% sure they wouldn’t,” the researchers wrote.

However, every car brand has collected a lot of personal data, and most of them share or sell this information to a third party. The researchers spent 600 hours analyzing privacy policies, investigating app features, and working directly with the car companies themselves to determine the privacy ratings, but they still concluded that it was one of the most confusing categories they tested.

“Sorting through the large and confusing ecosystem of privacy policies for cars, car apps, auto-related services, and more is not something most people have the time or expertise to do,” members of the non-Mozilla privacy team wrote in a blog post. . That doesn’t leave much for car buyers to do if they’re looking for an option that takes data privacy seriously, because, at least according to Mozilla, they’re pretty bad.

Unfortunately, consumers have little control. You Can “Choose not to use the car app or try not to use connected services, but that could mean your car isn’t working properly — or at all,” said Jane Caltrader, director of unshared privacy. Options in terms of privacy, other than just buying an older model. Regulators and policymakers are lagging behind on this front.”

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