Vehicle Telematics Systems Raising Concern

Vehicle telematics systems, like OnStar, Sync, and ConnectedDrive, are under scrutiny from driver’s concerned about how much information is gathered and where that information goes. With the ubiquity of tracking devices also comes more responsibility to manage the collected data and comply with government requests–which automakers assure they’re doing.

BMW drivers should be aware that the privacy terms for the vehicle’s ConnectedDrive system may  “collect and retain an electronic or other record” of a person’s whereabouts of routes, and that information can be offered up by lawyers if needed. As imagined, some drivers aren’t okay with Big Brother watching, although privacy agreements from automakers make it clear to drivers telematics data will be given to law enforcement if necessitated.

Don Slavik, a product liability lawyer who’s worked with Toyota, says, “It introduces some questions of privacy issues that people aren’t aware of. I wasn’t aware of some of this stuff until recently.” Law professor at Wayne State University, Jonathan Weinberg,  expands on the privacy issues associated with the telematics systems: “Are there circumstances where we don’t want to make it available to the government, where we don’t want to make it available to the court? There are very real privacy considerations.”