Senators Demand Vehicle Ratings for Data Security To Protect Consumers | Edmunds

Senators Demand Vehicle Ratings for Data Security To Protect Consumers

WASHINGTON — Proposed legislation introduced on Wednesday calls for new vehicles to be evaluated under a new rating system or "cyber dashboard" to inform consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers "from auto security and privacy vulnerabilities."

"This information will be displayed on the label of all new vehicles — just as fuel economy is today," said Senators Edward J. Markey and Richard Blumenthal in a statement.

The two proposed a bill that would force the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to establish federal standards to "secure our cars and protect drivers' privacy."

The bill follows the Monday release of a Markey report entitled "Tracking & Hacking: Security & Privacy Gaps Put American Drivers at Risk" that said millions of cars and trucks are vulnerable to hacking through wireless technologies that could jeopardize driver safety and privacy.

"Connected cars represent tremendous social and economic promise, but in the rush to roll out the next big thing automakers have left the doors unlocked to would-be cyber-criminals," said Blumenthal. "This common-sense legislation would ensure that drivers can trust the convenience of wireless technology, without having to fear incursions on their safety or privacy by hackers and criminals."

The new rules will include a set of minimum standards to protect driver security and privacy in every new vehicle.

"There are currently no rules of the road for how to protect driver and passenger data," Markey said. "And most customers don't even know that their information is being collected and sent to third parties."

Markey called for the "electronic equivalent of seatbelts and airbags to keep drivers and their information safe."

The bill would require that all wireless access points in the car are protected against hacking attacks and that all collected information is appropriately secured and encrypted to prevent unwanted access.

The bill would also let consumers choose whether data is collected without having to disable the navigation system and prohibit the use of personal driving information for advertising or marketing purposes.

Edmunds says: Consumers need strong data privacy protections and vehicle security in this era of extreme connectivity. This sounds like a practical way to begin the process.

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