Web-connected cars raise new privacy concerns

2013 ford fusion hybrid

By Craig Timberg,

BARCELONA — Cars will soon be so linked into wireless networks they will be like giant rolling smartphones — with calling systems, streaming video, cameras and apps capable of harnessing the unprecedented trove of data vehicles will produce about themselves and the humans who drive them.

The battle over who can access all this data is an awkward undercurrent amid recent announcements by car manufacturers touting their new, Internet-capable vehicle systems.

As automakers tout new Web-related features, some people are concerned about how data will be shared.

Low on gas? Soon a gas station app may know before you do. Tires need rotating? Your car may wirelessly alert your dealership when it’s time. Ready for a lunch break? Your car can make a reasonable guess based on the hour. A savvy restaurant app may soon use additional detail, such as whether the person in the back seat is watching a Disney movie, in deciding to offer an advertisement featuring a Happy Meal and directions to the nearest McDonalds.

Web-connected cars raise new privacy concerns...

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