New Lawsuit Highlights Concerns Over Car Manufacturers’ Collection of Customer Data

In a recent high-profile case, a US judge has ruled that the collection of customer data by car manufacturers through their infotainment systems is lawful. The landmark ruling comes after a class action lawsuit was brought against major automotive companies, including General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Honda, alleging that they unlawfully collect and store text messages and call logs from phones connected to their infotainment systems.

The lawsuit, filed in a Washington state federal court, was based on privacy concerns and invoked the jurisdiction’s Privacy Act. However, the court found that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate any tangible harm or injury resulting from the collection of their personal data. As a result, the cases against the car makers were dismissed. A related case against Ford had already been dismissed.

This ruling highlights the absence of universal privacy regulations governing the collection and use of personal data by infotainment systems in vehicles. Currently, car owners have little control or ability to opt out of having their data shared with advertisers or law enforcement agencies.

While this particular case was handled in the United States, concerns over privacy and data collection extend globally. As technology continues to evolve in vehicles, the amount and types of data being collected are increasing significantly. Without proper safeguards and explicit consent mechanisms, car owners are left vulnerable to potential misuse or unauthorized access to their personal information.


1. What was the class action lawsuit about?
The class action lawsuit alleged that major car manufacturers illegally collect and store text messages and call logs from phones connected to their infotainment systems.

2. Which car makers were involved in the lawsuit?
The lawsuit named General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Honda as the defendants.

3. What was the outcome of the lawsuit?
The federal judge ruled in favor of the car makers, stating that the cases against them had been properly dismissed.

4. Are there any universal privacy regulations for car owners?
Currently, there are no universal privacy regulations specifically protecting car owners from having their personal data collected by infotainment systems.

5. Can car owners opt out of sharing their data?
Most infotainment systems do not include an ‘opt-in’ feature, meaning that car owners have little control over whether their data is shared or not.

(Source: The Record)