Tips, Tricks & Trends

Are Your Car Cameras Collecting Personal Information?

In our day to day lives, we don’t often focus on our personal data being collected. It isn’t until something concerning comes up about an app or device comes out that we stop and think about the devices in our lives. While we may be more guarded with our cell phones and laptops, we don’t often think about the information that can be collected by our cars. As cars become more and more advanced, however, they get newer — and sometimes scarier — technology. With something like cameras becoming standard in so many cars, is it something that we should be concerned about?

Cameras in cars

There are a lot of benefits to having cameras in and around your car. Having a rearview camera has become pretty standard in many cars, and it helps us feel more confident with things like pulling in and out of parking spots or parallel parking. We like to think this camera technology helps us greatly, and in many ways it does. But we don’t often stop to consider if there is any data that our car’s cameras could be collecting.

The backup camera display of a 2014 Toyota Prius, showing passing pedestrians
2014 Toyota Prius backup camera display | Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

What if your car doesn’t send information?

According to Consumer Reports, if you thought your car wasn’t at risk because it doesn’t have a subscription for network connectivity, you might be disturbingly surprised. The team claims that even if you aren’t aware that you car might have the ability to transmit data they still could. The software in question isn’t being used for nefarious purposes, surprisingly, but that doesn’t make us feel much more comfortable.

A side-view camera and screen of an Audi e-tron 55 car during a press day ahead of the Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva |HAROLD CUNNINGHAM/AFP

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What it’s used for

The data collected by the cameras is intended to be used to improve roadways. It will reportedly track information such as potholes, pedestrians, and other information. That means it won’t be collecting personal information like your cell phone does in regards to banking, but that also doesn’t mean it won’t be tracking where you are going every day.

Blind spot monitoring
Ford Truck F450 Platinum offers 7 cameras, four of which create a 360 degree view of the car | Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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Chances are you don’t have to be overly concerned with this technology being implemented in your car. While it does sound scary, it isn’t something that should concern you if you have a car already.