Privacy and the car of the future: Cars talking to each other and to infrastructure

Darlene Storm writes on about the privacy threats posed by cars of the future.

It would be wonderful if there were less traffic accidents and auto deaths, so can you imagine a world where your dashboard suddenly flashes with the Warning Do Not Pass? This sort of safety warning is happening right now with the development of Digital Short Range Communications (DSRC), cars receiving data from other vehicles within 1,247 feet, or 380 meters, to warn of hazards unseen by the driver. Yet connected vehicles talking to each other and to the infrastructure could also create new types of tracking and privacy invasions such as your car transmitting your speed and landing you a speeding ticket.

Privacy and the Car of the Future: Considerations for the connected vehicle [PDF] was presented at the 29th Chaos Communication Congress (29C3) in Hamburg, Germany by Christie Dudley. She wrote, “I was contracted to do a privacy audit in July to identify aspects of the technology that would pose threats to users’ privacy, as well as offering summaries of methods to partially or completely compromise the system. For this program to be successful, it must be accepted by the public since the benefits are derived from others’ broadcasts.”

About 2,800 vehicles are talking to each other in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot in Ann Arbor, Mich. These cars wirelessly send signals to each other, “warning their drivers of potential dangers such as stopped traffic or cars that might be blowing through a red light. They can even get traffic lights to turn green if no cars are coming the other way.” The US DOT will decide later this year if DSRC should be required for all new cars. The German government is considering investing in this messaging technology so it could be built into infrastructure.

Read the whole story HERE.

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