Consumer Privacy Rights

Consumer Protection Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale

Navigating the Digital Road: The Hidden Cost of Connected Cars

The automotive industry has not been left behind in an era where technology seamlessly integrates into every aspect of our lives. Modern vehicles come packed with internet-enabled features that promise convenience and efficiency. However, beneath this digital veneer lies a concerning trend with significant consumer privacy and protection implications. There is a troubling new practice of automakers selling information on your driving behavior to data brokers. This data is then sold to insurance companies, often without the consumer’s explicit consent, and used to determine your automotive policy rates.  The lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices are here to help you protect your personal data and fight for your rights when your privacy has been breached.

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The Privacy Dilemma on Wheels

A recent New York Times article describes several consumers’ experiences with privacy issues surrounding their internet-connected vehicles. These drivers faced significant hikes in insurance premiums due to data collected by G.M. and sold to LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a data broker that generates information-based analytics. LexisNexis, in turn, sells some of this data to insurance companies that use it like a credit score for driving to determine pricing decisions for premiums. These stories highlight a growing privacy concern: the sale of personal driving data to third parties without clear consent from vehicle owners.  This should sound alarms about consumer privacy and protection.

What is a Data Broker?

Data brokers collect, analyze, and sell personal information from various sources, including connected vehicles. These brokers aggregate data to create comprehensive profiles on individuals, which are then sold to interested parties, such as insurance companies. In the automotive context, data brokers collect detailed information about driving habits, which can influence insurance premiums and coverage options.

Issues with Consent

At the heart of the controversy is the issue of consent. Many drivers are unaware that their vehicle’s data is being monitored, collected, and sold. Automakers and data brokers claim to have drivers’ permission through terms and conditions often buried in a 2000-word “terms and conditions” page that includes some information about their privacy policies. However, the clarity and visibility of these agreements are questionable, leading to situations where drivers unknowingly opt into monitoring programs that directly affect their insurance rates and privacy.

How Can Consumer Protection Lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices Help?

The path to justice can seem long and daunting for drivers impacted by these practices. This is where the expertise of the lawyers at Schlesinger Law Offices comes into play. Our team is dedicated to defending the rights of consumers, ensuring they are informed, protected, and compensated when their privacy has been compromised. We can help by:

  • Investigating claims of unauthorized data collection and sharing by automakers and data brokers.
  • Providing legal advice and representation for those affected by increased insurance premiums due to undisclosed data sharing.
  • Fighting for transparency and consent in the collection and sale of driving data.
  • Securing compensation for violations of privacy and consumer protection laws.

The need for clear, informed consent and greater transparency in how driving data is used and shared is evident in many cases. Our lawyers play a crucial role in advocating for these rights, ensuring that the digital advancements in our vehicles do not come at the cost of our privacy and autonomy.

Connect cars have ushered in a new frontier of convenience and innovation. Yet, as we navigate this digital road, safeguarding consumer privacy and ensuring informed consent becomes paramount. Through awareness, legal action, and advocacy, Schlesinger Law Offices are helping create a future where technology and privacy coexist harmoniously, with consumer rights at the forefront.

Automaker Invasive Data Privacy Practices

The digital era has transformed vehicles into moving data centers, collecting extensive information on trip length, time, vehicle speed, braking force, lateral acceleration, seat belt usage, and more. This technological leap, however, has raised significant privacy concerns, prompting Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) to call for an investigation into the data privacy practices of auto manufacturers by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Senator Markey’s concerns stem from the realization that modern vehicles can collect a broad spectrum of data, from location tracking to detailed driving behavior. The senator’s inquiry into the privacy practices of 14 car manufacturers revealed a worrying trend: an overwhelming collection of data with vague purposes, ambiguous consent protocols, and minimal transparency. Notably, the potential misuse of such data underscores the urgent need for regulatory oversight.

FTC’s Role in Safeguarding Privacy

In his letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan, Senator Markey highlighted automakers’ evasive responses regarding their data collection and usage practices. He emphasized that automakers face little to no restrictions on gathering and exploiting data, often leaving consumers unaware and unprotected. Given the gravity of the situation, Senator Markey urged the FTC to utilize its investigatory and enforcement powers to ensure that consumer privacy is not compromised.

Automakers’ Responses and Practices

The responses from the queried automakers largely skirted critical questions about the economic benefits derived from collected data, the impact on consumers who opt out of data collection, and recent instances of cyberattacks. Additionally, while most automakers disclosed that they share data with law enforcement upon receiving legal orders, their responses’ overall lack of clarity and accountability further amplifies the need for stringent regulatory measures.

How Schlesinger Law Offices Can Assist

At Schlesinger Law Offices, we recognize the profound implications of automakers’ invasive data privacy practices on consumer rights. Our consumer protection lawyers are dedicated to championing the privacy interests of individuals against powerful automotive companies and data brokers. By leveraging legal expertise and advocacy, we aim to ensure that consumers are not left vulnerable to privacy invasions, are adequately informed about their rights and data usage, and are compensated for any illegal breaches.  Schlesinger Law Offices remains committed to being at the forefront of this battle, ensuring that the road to innovation does not compromise our fundamental right to privacy. Schlesinger Law Offices has been fighting for the individual for over 70 years and has an impressive list of victories for our clients