Connected Car Principles Part of Trend Toward Corporate Privacy Commitments

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SIIA applauds the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers for adopting a set of privacy principles for vehicle technologies and services. These principles, released on Thursday November 13, are a responsible step toward protecting the information collected by connected cars, and they reflect an important movement of strong corporate commitments to data privacy.

Data has become essential for improving auto safety, reducing traffic congestion, increasing auto efficiency and powering other advanced services for 21st Century drivers. By bolstering consumer confidence, these principles will help make certain these advancements can continue.  They cover transparency, choice, respect for context, data minimization, de-identification, retention, data security, integrity, access and accountability.  In particular, they put limits on the use of geolocation information for marketing purposes and provide consumers with access to collected information.

These principles reflect widely accepted privacy standards advocated by the Federal Trade Commission and the Administration, and are also reflected in the U.S. sectorial privacy laws.

Led by SIIA, the education technology industry has followed a similar course of action.  In October, in conjunction with the Future of Privacy Forum, we announced a set of 12 privacy principles that commit educational service providers to protecting the privacy of student information.  This effort is vital for our country, because new information technologies are enabling personalized education, improving educational outcomes, allowing for more efficient school operations, making possible the development of better instructional materials and faster identification of students at risk of failing, and more.

In particular, the principles bolster the deeply entrenched social norm and legal requirement that student information should be used solely for educational purposes. The student privacy pledge also commits service providers to refrain from using student information for targeted advertising, to limit student profiles to educational uses and to protect information from unauthorized access.

Data collection and analysis is essential for any industry that intends to grow and flourish in the 21st century.  But to be successful, companies must have the trust and confidence of data subjects, customers, policy makers and the public.  Voluntary steps such as those taken by the automotive and education technology industries are vital if we are to hold onto and grow this trust.

Mark Mark MacCarthy, Senior Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIA’s public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology. Follow Mark on Twitter at @Mark_MacCarthy.