Will You Let Your Car Sell You Stuff?

How would you like to be driving home from work, and have your car suggest that you stop and buy a pizza? Or tell you there’s a sale at a drug store on an item you use, and set your destination for that store?
February 27, 2018

How would you like to be driving home from work, and have your car suggest that you stop and buy a pizza? Or tell you there’s a sale at a drug store on an item you use, and set your destination for that store?

Auto manufacturers hope to generate additional revenue by using in-car advertising software. The big question for automakers now is whether they can profit off all the driver data they are capable of collecting without alienating consumers or risking a backlash from Washington.

Car companies are now exploring how they can get drivers to share their data freely, whether through an auto insurance discount or another incentive. The Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction over consumer data and privacy, but there are no specific rules for the auto industry, say experts. Mike Abelson, vice president of strategy at GM, said the company isn’t currently selling data to third parties. “We’re not considering that,” he said. But he added: “I wouldn’t want to make a statement for forever.”


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