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Experts Reveal the Most Complicated Car Data Privacy Policies to Understand

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It’s human nature not to read long masses of boring text, but particularly when it comes to our cars, we should always be wary of how our data is used.

With cars becoming more technologically advanced by the model, they can collect copious amounts of data on us, drivers, such as our location history, home address, and even our music taste.

With laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect across the EU in 2018, all companies must have a data privacy policy to inform their customers of data collected about them – but some can be overly complicated

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In their latest study on Connected Cars, the experts at Confused.com have scoured the privacy policies of 15 car manufacturers to discover which made for the most straightforward reading and how in-depth they were, giving each an overall readability score out of 100. 

How easy to read is your car brand's data policy

Jaguar Land Rover comes at the top for the easiest to understand privacy policy, with a readability score of 61.4 out of 100, as well as it is classified as ‘in depth’.

2021 Nissan Altima® Commit to the Drive

12 out of the 15 manufacturers’ privacy policies were either ‘in depth’ or ‘very in depth’, with BMW and Mini the clear winners with the most in-depth privacy policies. They set a clear distinction between what car data is stored in the vehicle and what information the company processes.

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The three manufacturers’ privacy policies that were ‘not in depth’ were Volkswagen, Subaru and Dacia.

Although Tesla has an in-depth privacy policy, they scored the lowest readability score, with a shameful 32.8 out of 100. This is alarming considering the study also revealed that Tesla is the brand that collects the most data on their drivers.

With some privacy policies being unclear, does this mean our cars store more data than they indicate? We asked Chris Clark, an automotive software security expert at Synopsis, if the policies are accurate:

“There’s a challenge in knowing what data cars store. The way some contracts are written, there’s not a way to determine what data is collected and how it’s used. The amount of data collected extends out of the vehicle too. People also normally don’t check the policy properly when they’re presented with them, so they often don’t realise how much car data is being stored.”

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