The dashboard and steering wheel of the Audi AG Q7 is displayed during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 6, 2015. (Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Chris Martin from Honda North America demonstrates Apple CarPlay in Torrance, Calif. (Photo: Getty Images)The federal privacy commissioner's office, which financially supported the B.C. study, is "actively following" the issues and has held discussions with industry players and provincial regulators, said Valerie Lawton, a spokeswoman for the commissioner. The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association, which represents the country's largest car-makers, initiated a meeting with the federal commissioner's office last June, say notes disclosed under the Access to Information Act. Federal privacy officials saw it as an opportunity to get a better sense of the information collected by intelligent cars, what might be coming, and whether manufacturers were fully aware of their obligations, the notes indicate. Legal and regulatory requirements are considered whenever car-makers look at introducing new technologies with privacy implications, said Mark Nantais, manufacturers association president.
"We're fully compliant — and intend to be fully compliant — with the laws that are applicable," he said in an interview. As for insurance-related data, that's a relationship between the driver and their insurance company that goes beyond the automaker, Nantais said. The internal notes from the privacy commissioner paint a futuristic scenario involving in-car advertising — for instance, a near-empty gas-tank sensor could project an advisory on the windshield offering the driver a discount at a nearby filling station. Nantais, however, played down the notion wired cars produce a bounty of valuable information.
"There's a lot of work going on in the industry relative to cyber security of vehicles, primarily from a safety perspective."
"Is it myth or reality that the data actually exists? That's a valid question," he said. "Some people think that everything under the sun is available, and I don't think that's the case." As vehicles become increasingly reliant on technology, security will be paramount, Nantais added. "We want to make sure that those vehicles cannot be hacked and that they remain safe," he said. "And there's a lot of work going on in the industry relative to cyber security of vehicles, primarily from a safety perspective." Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
"We want to make sure that those vehicles cannot be hacked and that they remain safe."
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