The Deloitte 2023 Global Automotive Consumer Study showed that consumers are willing to share their personal information if it means gaining access to vehicle health and maintenance updates, traffic congestion information, and updates to improve road safety. However, it also highlighted how trust issues – particularly in Europe – are potentially holding them back.
As vehicles have become more connected, their functionality has grown increasingly data-driven. Often that data is supplied by third-party providers and is transmitted across multiple networks and platforms, with each link in the chain carrying its own implications in terms of privacy, security, and legislative compliance.
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“The industry’s current solution is to lock that functionality behind an impenetrable legal waiver that must be begrudgingly accepted before access is granted,” explains Peter Galek, Product Engineering Director at VNC Automotive. “This approach, almost by design, makes it largely impossible to know what is being agreed to, and may have inadvertently helped to foster this lack of trust.”
App store purveyors such as Google and Apple have responded to similar challenges by attempting to be more transparent about how their customers’ data is used. This has included introducing new, more granular privacy controls that allow customers a greater say over what an app can and can’t do.
“Perhaps automotive OEMs should take a leaf out of the tech industry’s book,” suggests Tom Blackie, CEO, VNC Automotive. “Many manufacturers offer a smartphone app that links to the car through a personalised account, and this presents the ideal opportunity to explain what data is collected, how it will be used, and to opt-in or out. A customer-facing portal could also offer a further chance to gather consent.”