In a world driven by advanced technology, the privacy of personal information has become a growing concern. One area where this concern often arises is in the realm of vehicle telematics. Many vehicle owners are curious about the extent of information that can be extracted from their vehicles and how manufacturers utilize this data. In this blog post, we’ll delve into one example, focusing on Nissan, to shed light on the information your vehicle may be collecting about you and how it’s utilized.

Nissan’s Privacy Notice: A Closer Look

Before we get into the details, it’s important to note that Nissan’s privacy notice is not unique in the automotive industry. Terms and conditions across various manufacturers often share similarities. Nissan’s notice specifies that they collect both personal and non-personal data about your vehicle and you for specific reasons. Let’s break down what information they can gather:

1. Contact Information

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone number

2. Geolocation Data

  • From your connected vehicle (via GPS)
  • Even if not a connected vehicle, inferred from Bluetooth connection, IP address, and postal code

3. Other Personal Information

  • Social security number
  • Service or warranty information
  • Employment information, and more

Connecting the Dots: Building Your Profile

Nissan not only relies on the data collected directly from your vehicle but also combines it with information from various other sources. This includes data from your social media activity, email subscriptions, website visits (using cookies), and more. The goal is to build a comprehensive profile of you.

The Extent of Information Collected

Now, let’s explore the types of information your vehicle can provide:

Vehicle’s Operation

  • VIN number
  • Geolocation and navigation information
  • Speed and distance information
  • Driving habits and style
  • Battery use for electric vehicles
  • Diagnostic trouble codes
  • Vehicle status information (door locks, engine status, etc.)
  • Data about accidents and airbag deployment

Categories of Information Collected and Disclosed

A critical aspect is understanding who has access to this information. Here are the categories and the types of data disclosed to third parties:

Type of Data Third Parties
Financial Information Service providers, marketing partners
Commercial Information Service providers, marketing partners
Geolocation Data Marketing and promotional partners
Inferences (Drawn from Personal Data) Service providers, marketing partners
Sensitive Personal Information Service providers, affiliates, direct marketing purposes

The Power of Inferences

One of the most intriguing aspects is Nissan’s ability to draw inferences from collected data. They can create a profile about you, reflecting your preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, intelligence, attitudes, and abilities.

The Unsettling Revelation

Perhaps the most unsettling revelation is that Nissan can collect and create sensitive personal information, including driver’s license number, citizenship status, immigration status, race, sexual orientation, sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic information.

Drive Safe, Stay Informed

While this information might be unsettling, it’s crucial to understand that this practice is not unique to Nissan. Many other manufacturers operate under similar parameters. As a vehicle owner, it’s essential to be aware of what your vehicle may be revealing about you. Drive safe, and remember that your vehicle might not be as private as you think. In the realm of investigations, this data can be a valuable resource, but it also highlights the importance of being cautious about your privacy within the confines of your car. Stay informed, stay safe.