This isn’t just about Facebook: When Google is building cities and cars are turning into data-harvesting machines, the need for laws that protect users has never been more
Data is being gathered in virtually every mode of transportation. That means data breaches and misuse happen there too—in transit systems, airlines, ride-hailing services, and even walking, biking and jogging. The risks are perhaps especially great with “connected vehicle” technology. As Facebook and Google have panoptical views of user search histories and consumer habits, vehicles linked into the internet of things gather data on location and driving habits, at both the personal and aggregated levels. Some of that data may be used for safety and crime-prevention purposes; it will also have value to advertisers as cars become roving info-tainment pods. The vulnerabilities to hackers and data abusers will almost certainly grow alongside that in-vehicle ad market.
“Widespread concerns have been raised about the lack of security controls in many IoT devices,” stated the U.S. Government Accountability Office in a May 2017 report on the Internet of Things. “[That] is in part because many vehicles, equipment, and other increasingly IoT-enabled devices were built without anticipating threats associated with Internet connectivity or the requisite security controls.”