The lawyers have taken notice: Information collected by vehicle telematics systems from companies such as GM, BMW, Ford and others is being used in the building of court cases. If you read the small print in your lease agreement, you might have seen the part where the data generated by your telematics system will be released to the courts and law enforcement “as necessary.”
It isn’t a slam dunk in the courts, however. Legal scholars cite the aspect of reliability of event data recorders (aka “black boxes”) which cannot always be trusted.
There is also the issue of a lack of clearly defined guidelines on what information can be collected, the format in which it is collected and the handling of the data (“chain of custody,” in legal terms). Coupled with the fact that telematics systems are not currently designed to serve the legal system, you wind up with data that has limited value from a legal standpoint.
This will not stop governmental agencies from subpoenaing vehicle telematics data representing the driving behaviors and locations of thousands of people if they determine the need to do so. Consumers who voluntarily gave up the rights to their information when they signed leasing agreements don’t have much of a legal argument to make as to how this information is used.
Given these new realities, more must be done to protect consumer data privacy or at least provide transparency on what data is being collected, why, for whom and for what reasons. Clearly defined data collection and handling guidelines must also be implemented to ensure consumer protection and provide the proper rules for legal usage.
Source: Lawyers reaching for in-car data – Automotive News