The My Car My Data campaign believes that YOU should be the one deciding if your vehicle data should be shared and with whom as cars are equipped with sensors, localisation and communication devices can collect and send more and more data about drivers. This includes information concerning their behaviour and habits when behind the wheel. Tomorrow’s cars will be able to communicate about your driving preferences and allow companies to offer you personalised services.
90% of Europeans believe that they own their vehicle’s data and it should be standard that drivers get the choice of whether or not to share this data. There should be a market that allows service providers to freely compete to offer you the most added-value for the data shared. Europeans should be entirely free to choose with whom to share vehicle data in the future, unless otherwise mandated by law.
At the FIA, we believe that access to your mobility habits should only happen with your full informed consent. YOU should be the one deciding if your data should be shared and with whom. This would offer you the freedom to choose any service you like for your travel over the lifetime of your vehicle.
Could my car be communicating all by itself!? To whom? What kind of information?
Meanwhile, vehicles are becoming increasingly intelligent. Many models are already capable of grouping and sending data from your car. The vehicle transmits it over secured networks and can ensure a faster and more effective response. Your roadside assistance patrol can come with the right spare part and software to fix your car!
A car that can communicate in this way (a ‘connected car’) can send more than breakdown data and help enhance your driving experience by warning you before a breakdown, helping you adapt your route according to traffic conditions, and much more.
What is the My Car My Data campaign about?
My Car My Data is about empowering consumers, educating them about connectivity and making sure they are aware of their rights.
- You should have the right to choose and change your service provider and match the right products and level of service to your needs
- You should have the right to choose among service providers competing in an open market place and to enable any service provider you choose to access your vehicle data and associated functionalities via an open, secure telematics platform
How do I give or refuse access to my vehicle data?
If your vehicle is connected, you are usually asked to sign a blanket agreement for access to your vehicle data by the manufacturer. This is often linked to useful options, such as GPS guidance and bundled with additional services. Under the current system, you can only send your data to your vehicle manufacturer or cancel your subscriptions altogether. It is still not clear if cancelling your subscription means that the vehicle will stop sending data.
Unlike with your mobile phone, you are not prompted when data is being gathered and sent.
Do existing laws on data protection apply to vehicle data?
Data protection legislation sets out certain rules on the processing of data and some rules for the processing of personal data, in order to protect people’s rights. It is based on the principles of:
- Transparency – people should know when and how data is being processed and consent or the necessity of the process should be ensured
- Legitimate purpose
- Proportionality – Personal data may be processed only if it is adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are collected
The landscape has changed drastically since the European legislation came into force in the early 90s. The exponential growth of data – including telematics data from vehicles, means that it is time for a significant overhaul of the legislation. The notion of consent and transparency are at the heart of heated discussions going on within the EU Institutions on this topic.
What are the goals?
We support putting vehicle owners in the driver’s seat when it comes to their data. This means creating a safe and secure open market for connected car services. This entails:
- that consumers are notified about data transfers and must give informed consent what data is shared and how it will be used
- that there is a choice of validated services from trusted service providers
- that your vehicle is equipped with an open standardised and secure data platform accessible to multiple service providers
What about other service providers?
Since only vehicle manufacturers have direct access to vehicle data, other service providers must pay the vehicle manufacturer to access it and develop services for each vehicle brand, leading to higher development costs. In addition, independent garages will be fully dependent on vehicle manufacturer’s business models.
This leaves consumers in a monopoly market where consumers are not empowered to make the best use of their data or to control who sees what data. They are further at the whim of the vehicle manufacturer when it comes to pricing.
How does this affect me?
What you may not know, is the scope of data that could be tracked and how it could be ultimately used.
Vehicle manufacturers offering connectivity usually track and transmit a range of information on your vehicle, which can say a lot about your car’s status and your driving style, for example. Their business model is based on their exclusive control of this flow of information so that they can direct maintenance and repairs to their own selected service providers.
When you buy a connected car, it often includes a clause which approves the transfer of your data to the vehicle manufacturers’ proprietary network. As a result:
- You are not necessarily aware when data is transmitted by your car or how your data is used
- You may not be able to opt out when service policies are changed and if you reject the conditions offered you risk losing access to all services
- you may be solicited for unwanted services
- your repair bills may be higher
Who supports My Car My Data?
My Car My Data is a campaign from FIA Region I, a consumer body, based in Brussels, representing 111 Motoring and Touring Clubs and their 38 million members from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists. The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind, FIA Region I ‘s work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring. www.fiaregion1.com
In addition to the FIA, the following Automobile Clubs are supporting and running their own campaigns: ADAC, FDM, AL, ÖAMTC, the AA UK, CCC, ACA France, AvD, RACE, RACC, M, AMSM, BIHAMK, TCB, NAF.
Why should vehicle owners have a choice of service providers with their vehicles?
Data is the new currency. While users may not be shy about sharing data anymore, we believe that they should get the most out of it. By allowing various service providers to compete to offer added value to the connected car, we encourage innovation and ensure drivers can freely choose any application they wish over the lifetime of their vehicle – and opt-out whenever they want to. In a monopoly situation, the lone service provider would be able to dictate what services can be offered and for which price. Any application you install would have to be either from the manufacturer or from a subcontractor they chose.
What is the situation today?
By 2018, all new vehicles will be equipped with eCall, a feature which will automatically call for help in case of a crash. This same technology could potentially be used to offer other connected car services. By 2017, the European Commission has to decide whether this communication system will be secure and closed, only for manufacturers to control, or secure and open, with the potential to allow for many service providers.
This is why we need your support today, to ensure that the safety technology you will buy with your next vehicle also enables you to use connected services on your terms!
How can I get involved?
There are two ways you can get involved in the My Car My Data campaign:
- Contact your elected representative:
Contact your elected official at the national or European level to voice your concern on this issue and urge him/her to take action about protecting user data in vehicles
- Contact your Automobile Club:
Your Club is active on this topic. Check with them how you can get involved. Support them, to join the voices calling for better data protection.
I have already contacted the European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, and warned her about the threat against free competition in the car repair field and I will raise a debate in Parliament on how we can protect car consumers against unwanted use of private data, which the car manufactures can freely access.
Having an eCall system in the car leads to the obligation to have an in-vehicle platform to operate IT software and applications. This needs to be an open platform that service providers can, if agreed by the car owner, use to provide different services. This creates lots of opportunities.
Legislation should ensure informed consent on access to a car’s data. This means that consumers need to be fully informed about what data is being transmitted and for what purpose. Drivers should retain ownership of the data their car produces and control over how it is used for as long as they own the vehicle.
Drivers should have the right to choose their preferred service provider and match the right products and level of service to their needs. The right to choose from a variety of safe product functionalities needs to be guaranteed. The service providers must also be changeable throughout the lifetime of the vehicle and without any additional administrative burden.
A variety of service providers should have the right to develop products and functionalities for car data, ensuring fair competition in an open market place. This enables the driver’s ability to choose their preferred service provider to access vehicle data and offer associated functionalities via an open, secure telematics platform.
The My Car My Data Roadshow
The My Car My Data campaign has launched throughout Europe, see the countries that took part:
The Netherlands: ANWB
The UK: The AA
The FIA Region I office, based in Brussels, is a consumer body representing 113 Motoring and Touring Clubs and their 37 million members from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists.
The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind, the FIA Region I work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring. www.fiaregion1.com
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