Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Launches Investigation into Car Manufacturers Over Possible Driver Data Privacy

June 8, 2024 4:25 pm
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Texas is placing car manufacturers under the legal microscope, with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spearheading an investigation into their practices of harvesting and peddling driver data. This probe follows a surge of concerns that have been voiced by vehicle owners over privacy violations.

According to a press release issued by Paxton’s office, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act gives Paxton the teeth to dig into allegations of surreptitious data harvesting. Car companies are being asked to cough up documents that shed light on the nature of data collection, the extent of your sharing habits, and critically, what you’ve told the customers about it, or indeed, what you haven’t.

Vehicle technology has evolved, becoming a Pandora’s Box of information ranging from location tracking to driving patterns, and even the mundane minutiae of your daily travels.“The technology in modern vehicles enables manufacturers to collect millions of data points about the people driving them” Paxton stated. Drivers are increasingly worried that their vehicular data might be backchattering with their insurance company, without a whisper of consent.

Scrutinizing both automakers and the nebulous network of third parties they’re associated with, Paxton is pulling at a thread that could unravel some disconcerting practices. “Recently, consumers have grown extremely concerned that their driving data is being reported to their insurance company without their knowledge or authorization. These reports of the invasive and unmitigated collection and sale of data without consumer consent are disturbing, and they merit a thorough investigation and appropriate enforcement.” Paxton’s statement read. Car manufacturers now have to present their paper trails, offering a peek behind the curtain into what they’ve been capturing from behind the wheel, and who’s been buying.

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