Still Too Much Artificial Intelligence in Rental Cars

Audi TT Mk3 Virtual Cockpit

Motor manufacturers and auto rental companies just love the tech in connected cars, because it allows them to spy on their customers’ driving habits surreptitiously. We seem to be moving in the opposite direction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Act. Surely a record of our driving is personal information too. Perhaps it is time we asked the question, “When did we consciously and deliberately give you permission to use our information?”


But It Gets Worse, The Register Website Warns


John Leyden, writing for The Register warns, “Drivers of cars from BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz have reported that previous owners retain unfettered access to the data and controls of connected cars after resale. The problem is international and extends to hire cars due to drivers connecting their smartphones to rented rides.”

He cites an IT worker who says suspicious spouses could also connect their phones, follow their partners to their secret love nests, and then show up and create a scene. The possibility presumably also exists for sales managers to trace their reps to naughty places, when their time sheets suggested they were beavering away at their job.

As John Leyden points out, we have gotten used to resetting our smartphones before trading them in, and clearing the data off old laptops before we send them to recycling. However, we do little more than clear the trunk and the glovebox he says, before handing the car back to a rental car clerk, or trading it in.


To Add Insult to Injury, They Took the Warning Beep Away


Phones used to beep when we hooked them to car Bluetooth. They still do, but not when we use the USB cable. Better learn to be worried if you have information to hide. You could be transplanting your smartphone contacts and call logs into the auto memory. The rental company will know if you were on a call at the time of a collision.

On the darker side of the internet, hackers build victim’s identities by gradually expanding their data from a reference point. Despite this, US car industry executive turned privacy advocate Andrea Amico told The Register “Almost every rental car is returned without the removal of private data, a problem that is replicated in the case of second-hand car sales.”

Pteet recommends deleting the data on rental cars before driving away, and immediately on return. There are some neat apps on the market, however our duty is to inform, not promote particular products. We prefer to stick to our core business Primary Rental Car Cover

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Audi TT Mk3 Virtual Cockpit: Robert Basic BY CC 2.0