Insurers and car makers quarrel over your driving data
Cars are becoming driving computers in the future, sending out massive data over the internet. But who owns this data? Insurance companies want the car makers to open up this data to every service provider, but the latter are reluctant ‘for safety reasons’.
Breakdown assistance via a remote connection to the computer or car insurance policies tailored to your driving behaviour are only two possible examples of new car services coming to the market soon. But they need the car to send the necessary data in real time via the internet. How to organize these data streams is under discussion.
Open to all providers
Insurance companies want that when the car driver has given his permission, the data should be open to all service providers. “Car manufacturers are developing systems for the car data to which only they have access”, says Data4Drivers, a campaign set up by insurance federations Insurance Europe and Amice.
Last week Data4Drivers launched a petition action towards EU policy makers. “The EU has to create legal measures to insure the car driver having control on who is to access the car data. Every service provider should be equally treated, without interference of the car manufacturer”, Data4Drivers claims.
New privacy legislation
European car manufacturers federation ACEA says to be surprised and thinks extra legislation is redundant when the new privacy legislation becomes active next spring. Car makers think direct online access to car computer data is too dangerous.
“Because of cyber security and driving safety we don’t think its a good idea to give third parties direct access to the data”, Joost Vantomme, Director Smart Mobility at ACEA says. Every connection with an external player is a possible access for hackers, ACEA says. On top of that every flickering update on the drivers’ on board screen can distract him.
To protect the data, car manufacturers are planning to work with external servers as a central digital buffer, where service providers can plug-in.
Especially when autonomous driving cars are populating the streets in the future, massive computing power will be needed. According to chip maker Intel one million autonomous cars equal the data transfer rates of three billion people on their smartphones.
Car makers want to work with two different kind of servers. A service provider can make a contract for the server of the individual car maker and get the data per car, if needed and if allowed by the owner. Or this can be a common server for all car brands, managed by a neutral player like IBM for instance. This might also interest governments for statistics.