AAA pushes data rules for automakers

A growing number of cars on the road come equipped with the ability to collect and transmit data, which can help drivers avoid traffic, bring emergency teams to the scene of a crash or find a nearby gas station.

But that connectivity could also pose problems for drivers’ privacy, according to AAA.

The auto club is urging car companies to adopt privacy protection measures to limit the risks from the growing trend of cars connected to the Internet.

“Companies collecting, using and sharing data from cars should do everything possible to protect consumer rights as they offer these technologies,” president and chief executive Bob Darbelnet said in a statement on Thursday.

Last week, the car club submitted comments about data privacy in automobiles to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

“In short, the features and services that vehicle connectivity enables will radically transform the driving experience,” AAA lawyer Gerard Waldron wrote.

“However, because these features and services will depend in large part on the collection and use of data from and about consumers’ vehicles, they must be designed and operated with privacy and security at the forefront so that consumers are in control.”

AAA urged the FTC to adopt “appropriate standards for the privacy and security of car data” as part of its continuing consideration of connected devices, known as the "Internet of things."

AAA’s concerns echo those of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who has previously introduced a location privacy bill to protect drivers in connected cars. This month, Franken wrote to Ford expressing his concerns about how the company is using consumers’ GPS data.