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New study finds that automakers collect too much personal information about drivers

Study finds that some automakers collect and share our personal data
Study finds that some automakers collect and share our personal data 01:48

A report by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation found privacy and security concerns among the top 25 automakers, saying they received failed marks for consumer privacy.

The study found that automakers are collecting more data than necessary, not just how fast or where we drive, but demographics of drivers and passengers.

They even went further to say some of the automakers gather deeply personal data, such as sexual activity, immigration status, race, facial expressions, weight, health, and genetic information.

"Researchers found data is being gathered by sensors, microphones, cameras, and the phones and devices drivers connect to their cars, as well as by car apps, company websites, dealerships, and vehicle telematics," wrote Mozilla.

Automakers are then sharing and selling that data to third parties.

Drivers are surprised by the data collection. "I never knew they would be tracking me like that. I know we have the smartphones and the capability of doing a lot of different things, but yeah, that's something I don't particularly like, it's just like watching every single thing we do," said Andyke Phillips.

Mozilla found the worst privacy violators are Tesla, Nissan, and Hyundai.

"The very worst offender is Nissan. The Japanese car manufacturer admits in their privacy policy to collecting a wide range of information, including sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic data — but doesn't specify how," wrote Mozilla. 

Those behind the study are hoping that lawmakers and regulators will step in and provide more safeguards, and pressure automakers to voluntarily cut back on how much information they collect.

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