A number of vehicle manufacturers are downloading and storing copies of private text messages from smartphones when they are connected to their infotainment systems. Software such developed by Berla Corporation does not allow the public to view those messages yet it allows law enforcement access. Some of these manufacturers are selling car owners’ data to various entities that are will to pay. So far courts in the U.S. have failed to control that practice.
Similarly, almost all manufacturers now install event data recorders or “black boxes” that record important information when a collision occurs. While such data is extremely valuable in resolving many collision causes the software and hardware to download the data is very expensive and thus unaffordable to the average citizen, even if they knew such data existed. In many instances of disputes with police or insurers average citizens cannot obtain data that could otherwise support their side of a disputed finding. Nothing is being done to remedy this by creating laws that allow average citizens the right to view their own in-vehicle data.
Most drivers are completely unware of these activities, causing them to drive forever in the darkness of data secrecy.