Talking Cars Could Save Your Life”“or Erode Your Privacy

Schumer calls for federal standards on automakers’ sharing of location data.

Sen. Chuck Schumer wants car to stop sharing location data without drivers' permission and knowledge.
National Journal
Alex Brown
Feb. 25, 2014, midnight

Data-heavy cars are mak­ing the driv­ing ex­per­i­ence bet­ter and safer — but they’re also ex­pos­ing drivers to pri­vacy breaches and com­mer­cial in­tru­sions, Sen. Chuck Schu­mer said Monday in a let­ter to a pair of fed­er­al agen­cies.

The New York Demo­crat asked the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion and the Na­tion­al High­way Traffic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion for guidelines on con­nec­ted cars, in­clud­ing an opt-out fea­ture for drivers who don’t want their driv­ing data col­lec­ted. “Cars are now able to track where we shop, where we eat, and where we go on fam­ily va­ca­tions, but drivers should be able to go about their daily lives without be­ing tracked,” Schu­mer said.

Schu­mer traced his fears to a 2013 study by the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­ab­il­ity Of­fice that found 90 per­cent of auto com­pan­ies share loc­a­tion data with out­side com­pan­ies — in­clud­ing some data that could be traced back to the driver.

The FTC wel­comed Schu­mer’s call for its in­put. “With more and more Amer­ic­an con­sumers buy­ing In­ter­net-con­nec­ted devices, such as cars that can trans­mit in­form­a­tion about their loc­a­tion and driv­ing habits, it is es­sen­tial that com­pan­ies ad­dress emer­ging pri­vacy is­sues,” said Chair­wo­man Edith Ramirez. “I thank Sen­at­or Schu­mer for call­ing at­ten­tion to this im­port­ant is­sue. En­sur­ing the pri­vacy of In­ter­net-con­nec­ted devices is a top FTC pri­or­ity.”

NHTSA did not im­me­di­ately com­ment on Schu­mer’s let­ter.

Among the safety in­nov­a­tions Schu­mer ad­dressed is vehicle-to-vehicle com­mu­nic­a­tions — “talk­ing cars” — which al­lows autos to be aware of each oth­er’s pres­ence on the road and warn drivers if a dan­ger­ous situ­ation is im­min­ent. It’s been touted by NHTSA as a po­ten­tial lifesaver, but the su­per-pre­cise in­form­a­tion it provides — if not prop­erly pro­tec­ted — could ex­pose drivers to fur­ther tar­get­ing by ad­vert­isers and busi­nesses, Schu­mer warned.

What We're Following See More »
WHITE HOUSE URGING QUICK SENATE ACTION
John King Gets Nod for Education Secretary
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

President Obama has said he’ll nominate John King to fill out the last few months of Obama’s presidency as Secretary of Education. King has been in an acting secretary role since Arne Duncan stepped down in December. The White House is pressuring the Senate to act quickly on the nomination.

Source:
162,000 SIGNATURES SO FAR
Sanders Supporters Begin to Petition Superdelegates
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Bernie Sanders supporters aren’t taking this whole superdelegate thing lying down. Despite a tie a blowout win against Hillary Clinton, Sanders trails her by some 350 delegates in the overall count, thanks mostly to superdelegates pledging to support her. His backers have taken to creating a MoveOn.org petition to pressure the superdelegates to be flexible. It reads: “Commit to honoring the voters—let everyone know that you won’t allow your vote to defeat our votes. Announce that in the event of a close race, you’ll align yourself with regular voters—not party elites.” So far it’s attracted 162,000 signatures. Related: At FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver notes that in 2008, Clinton had a 154-50 superdelegate advantage over President Obama when New Hampshire voted. But “by the time Clinton ended her campaign on June 7, 2008, Obama had nearly a 2-to-1 superdelegate advantage over her,” owing in part to many pledged delegates who switched their support to Obama.

Source:
REGULAR ORDER
Ryan Pitching the Importance of Passing a Budget Today
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

House Speaker Paul Ryan today is trying to convince his large but divided conference that they need to pass a budget under regular order. “Conservatives are revolting against higher top-line spending levels negotiated last fall by President Obama and Ryan’s predecessor, then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). GOP centrists are digging in on the other side, pledging to kill any budget that deviates from the two-year, bipartisan budget deal.” Ryan’s three options are to lower the budget numbers to appease the Freedom Caucus, “deem” a budget and move on to the appropriations process, or “preserve Obama-Boehner levels, but seek savings elsewhere.”

Source:
HEADED TO PRESIDENT’S DESK
Trade Bill Would Ban Imports Made with Slave Labor
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

“A bill headed for President Barack Obama this week includes a provision that would ban U.S. imports of fish caught by slaves in Southeast Asia, gold mined by children in Africa and garments sewn by abused women in Bangladesh, closing a loophole in an 85-year-old tariff law.” The Senate approved the bill, which would also ban Internet taxes and overhaul trade laws, by a vote of 75-20. It now goes to President Obama.

Source:
TRUMP UP TO 44%
Sanders Closes to Within Seven Nationally in New Poll
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

Bernie Sanders has closed to within seven points of Hillary Clinton in a new Morning Consult survey. Clinton leads 46%-39%. Consistent with the New Hampshire voting results, Clinton does best with retirees, while Sanders leads by 20 percentage points among those under 30. On the Republican side, Donald Trump is far ahead with 44% support. Trailing by a huge margin are Ted Cruz (17%), Ben Carson (10%) and Marco Rubio (10%).

Source:
×