AAA’s Bill of Rights for connected cars

bill of rightsAs automakers and digital providers race for the modern dashboard, and the car industry as a whole hurtles toward a future in which cars are connected to digital realms similarly to smartphones, security and privacy become issues. AAA has joined that conversation with a Connected-Car Bill of Rights that, the driver advocacy organization believes, should be adopted by all stakeholders, including marketers.

Privacy might not be an uppermost concern when it comes to the car’s entertainment stack — digital music and Internet radio. Having your Pandora playlist leaked might not be an emergency. But entertainment-based incursions are already in the works through clever targeting of audio listeners who are driving. One example is the recently announced partnership of ad tech company AdsWizz with HARMAN’s Aha Radio — the messaging being planned for Aha listeners includes a precise understanding of location, environment, car model, and listening preferences.

There is potential for greater sensitivity around in-car navigation systems, or those brought into the car on smartphones which know a great deal about their owners. IN this context, a discrete visit to a medical appointment might not be so discrete if the information is sold to a marketing company.

With its Connected-Car Bill of Rights, AAA is both ahead of the game and behind the curve. The privacy horse has already stampeded out of the barn with greater Internet and mobile-online use. But there has been little focus on perennial privacy issues specifically in the modern car, which increasingly functions as a large mobile consumer electronics device.

Brad Hill