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Internet-connected cars collect your data

Internet-connected cars collect your data

That fancy internet-connected car may have hi-tech conveniences but it may be collecting large amounts of data that's automatically sent to your car company.

This data includes location, speed statistics or even tiny details like how often you buckle your seat belt. As more and more connected cars are rolled out, this could be a potential privacy issue in the near future.

New research data is indicating that just about 20 percent of newer cars sold worldwide can now be connected to the internet. This percentage is expected to grow up to 75 percent by 2020. Currently, General Motors leads all automakers with approximately 12 million internet-connected vehicles by the end of 2016.

Benefits of car data sharing

This connected car and driver data collection is projected to become a big business and car makers are offering incentives to sweeten the deal. In exchange for the data, car makers can offer perks like free navigation systems or parking spot finders.

The data can also be used for essential notifications like calling emergency services when an airbag deploys or alerting the driver if the car is being recalled. Other benefits for data sharing may include lower insurance premiums and discount coupons for nearby businesses on a route.

On the flip side, insurance companies may require driving data to be monitored before they issue a policy. This could cause higher premiums for some drivers. Another downside will be advertising and unsolicited coupon alerts on each trip.

So far, there is no evidence of data sharing resistance from customers. Global consulting firm McKinsey and Company report that 79 percent of the 3,000 customers it interviewed in China, Germany and the U.S. do not mind sharing car data and 70 percent were even willing to pay for data collection services that will offer time-saving conveniences such as a parking spot finder.

Next page: Who owns this data and can you opt out?
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