By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
Every app on your phone is collecting data, often protected and confidential data, and selling it. Selling it to whom? No idea. But then you have invited the same thing when it comes to your home with the streaming apps… never mind Alexa and Siri. But now while it has been highly suggested to never use or click on Tik Tok videos that people seem to ignore at their own peril… let’s consider your own cars or trucks you drive every day. Oh, you have nothing to hide… yeah, yeah, yeah…but manufacturers and tech companies are making trillions a year selling everything about YOU and you don’t care or have nothing to hide? Are you fine with your passwords, social security numbers, ATM card numbers, or even children’s names being transported to entities unknown to you?
Privacy is gone and you should care… it is a cyber war actually and you are in the middle of it.
It all started with OnStar and now there are facial recognition requirements to even start your car…
America’s national security experts have made a compelling case that TikTok, the popular social media application owned in part by the Chinese government, constitutes a national security threat.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned that TikTok allows the Chinese government to access location, biometric identifiers, and browsing history, which could be shared with the Chinese Communist Party. This information led a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), to recently introduce legislation providing the Department of Commerce the power to regulate the popular social media app. The Biden White House quickly endorsed the bill and called for its immediate passage.
It’s encouraging that the federal government is taking the TikTok threat so seriously. Many policy analysts even believe it should double its efforts to combat harmful social media companies’ data collection. After all, TikTok is not the first company that poses such a problem, nor will it be the last. Many other apps, such as WeChat, have equally dangerous connections to the Chinese Communist Party that lawmakers should watch closely. The data regulations that they impose on TikTok should apply across the board including American companies that may pose similar threats.
That said, Chinese-owned social media apps are not the only data collection threat that the American people currently face. Chinese-owned automakers present just as significant of a national security problem, if not an even greater one.
Modern cars are becoming data collection vacuums. Their cameras and computers not only diagnose engines, but they also collect information about where you travel, what stores you shop at, what music you listen to, and how fast you drive. Electric cars, particularly autonomous vehicles, collect millions of terabytes of information that automakers rightfully see as digital gold.
This data collection would be beneficial if consumers owned and controlled it, but currently, they don’t. The car companies do.
Chinese automakers like Volvo and Lotus must comply with the same Military-Civil Fusion laws that TikTok and other problem Chinese apps must follow. That means the same data security concerns apply but with even more in-depth personal in play, from when they leave the house to their driving patterns and histories.
American vehicle manufacturers have yet to modernize their security infrastructures with the modern-digital age. Over the last year, API attacks in the automotive industry have surged by over 380 percent, and 34 percent of auto employees admitting their company receives more security threats now than two years ago. China is one of the global leaders in API attacks, and U.S. attorneys have already warned automakers to watch out for the country’s theft of their personal information.
For all these reasons and more, this information shouldn’t remain the property of the carmakers. The drivers should own and control it.
Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Jan Schakowsky’s (D-Ill.) Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee should consider a comprehensive legislative framework that ensures transparency and accountability from car manufacturers and protects drivers against misuse of their personal information. This will turn a staunch national security problem — TikTok on wheels — into a valuable addition to the U.S. economy.
Again, the problem is not that this auto data exists; the problem is that carmakers are the ones in control of it. From diagnosing and fixing vehicle malfunctions to providing insurance discounts, vehicles keeping track of this information is benefiting drivers in untold ways. If consumers own this data instead of the auto industry, they will receive the utility of this information without the baggage of it potentially falling in the wrong hands. Source