You have rights about where and how your data is shared

Before we tell you “the bad and the ugly” we’re going to tell you the “good”.  First, YOU HAVE RIGHTS.  Data protection and privacy rights exist for a reason and it’s on you to take control of where and how your data is being stored, shared and protected.  Now fasten your seat belts because we’re going to take you on a ride to see the bad and the ugly.   

We often focus on the responsibilities companies have to safeguard the seemingly limitless hordes of personal data they collect from users.  Less frequently is emphasized the control these people have over their own data.  Even awareness on the user side can be just as critical as how companies handle, especially when said organizations seem to take a questionable, even cavalier approach to securing your data.

According to the Associated Press, car manufacturers in particular are currently engaging in practices that might warrant further examination.  Most of the major entities, after all, collect tons of personal data, especially through in-vehicle sensors like fully digitized control consoles.  Research from Mozilla has indicated that while newer cars have the latest and greatest in tech, this advancement raises concerning data security issues – namely, customers have virtually zero control over their data after it’s collected. 

This lack of control extends to selling or sharing with third parties.  If a car company and ride share services like Uber and Lyft want to do so, they can, without any customer input.  This applies to all 25 car brands Mozilla examined, which failed minimum privacy standards thanks to a cavalier approach to gathering data through vehicle sensors, cameras, apps and other connected devices.  “Cars have microphones and people have all kinds of sensitive conversations in them,” says research lead Jen Caltrider.  “Cars have cameras that face inward and outward.” 

Nissan’s privacy policy in particular received the description of “the most mind boggling creepy,” due to its tracking of medical data and sexual activity, with Tesla not far behind on that front.  To be honest, I don’t think Mozilla was exaggerating there. 

Vague security standards and an unrestrained approach to data collection means that for most drivers, your car is practically creating a profile on you for the manufacturers, which can then be sold at will.  According to Nissan itself, this profile can reflect “the consumer’s preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes.” 

And it’s not even solely an issue of willful transactions.  Social engineering attacks remain as prevalent a method for hackers as they have in recent years.  With these compiled profiles that companies like Nissan are storing, all it takes is one single employee making an error for the bad actors to have access to all your data.

People need to be more cognizant than ever these days of who is accessing their data, how much of it, and what is being done with the vast swathes.  Ensuring that your data is encrypted is a critical step in the process of information security.  NetLib Security works with organizations in all industries to accomplish this goal.  Utilizing our powerful Encryptionizer solution allows firms to effortlessly and cost effectively protect their stored data across all environments – physical, virtual or cloud – thus providing a solid defense against cyber criminals looking to make off with this valuable resource.  

With the ubiquity in our lives of cars, connected devices among myriad other things  – which are no small target for hackers, by the way – users need to step up and take back the control of your data, even if it takes the form of taking your business elsewhere.  Make sure to put pressure on organizations that play fast and loose with the security of your data.


By: Jonathan Weicher, post on September 28, 2023
Originally published at: https://www.netlibsecurity.com
Copyright: NetLib Security