Car manufacturers, like Ford and GM, are tracking drivers’ behavior through internet-connected vehicles. The data is provided to data brokers, including LexisNexis and Verisk, which create “consumer disclosure reports” on individuals that insurance companies can access.

The consumer reports do not show where a driver has traveled but do include information on length of trips and driving behavior like “hard braking,” “hard accelerating,” and speeding. With this information, insurance companies are adjusting rates for some of their insured.

The automakers and data brokers contend that the information is collected with the consumers’ consent, but many consumers were unaware they agreed to the data collection. Mozilla issued a report last September that raised concern over automakers privacy policies and pointed to manufacturers sharing drivers’ data with insurance companies and law enforcement. The report noted “modern cars are surveillance-machines on wheels souped-up with sensors, radars, cameras, telematics and apps that can detect everything we do inside – even when we do it.”

The practice of automakers sharing information with insurance companies may technically be optional now, but soon could be all-but-mandatory because of its widespread government support. Some lawmakers are pushing back and introducing legislation to implement stronger privacy policies and to investigate car manufacturers’ data collection practices.

If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an automobile accident, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1 800-870-9584.