Read at www.theguardian.com
Smart technologies in Toyota cars are collecting personal data and potentially sharing it with insurance companies and other groups, according to consumer advocate group Choice. Toyota's Connected Services feature collects information such as vehicle location, driving data, fuel levels, and personal contact information. Concerns have been raised about the lack of clarity around consent and the inability to fully remove the feature without voiding the warranty.
Car companies say these technology features increase driver safety, but in a world of data hacks and sharing, it's just another way for companies to gather valuable information, whether consumers like it or not, Choice senior campaigns and policy adviser, Rafi Alam, said.
Choice's investigation revealed that some Toyota customers were not informed about the Connected Services feature until after purchasing their cars. One customer who wanted to remove the feature was told this would void the warranty and risk insurance coverage. Toyota's policies regarding data sharing and consent are described as incredibly vague by Choice.
Concerningly, Toyota's Connected Services policy says if you do not opt out, it will collect and use personal and vehicle data for research, product development and data analysis purposes, he said. It may also share the data with third parties, such as debt collectors or insurance companies.