One of the many issues around self-driving cars is all the data they generate and just who will own all that information. That subject dominated the conversation at an all-day workshop yesterday put on by the FTC and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The privacy advocate point of view: "It's pretty obvious that a lot of people are chomping at the bit for this information: marketers, insurers, employers," Joseph Jerome, policy counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology, said. "We really have to think about what sort of inferences could be resulting from this information. Are we going to be sharing this with health care providers? Are we going to be sharing this with insurers?"
The industry point of view: "There's going to be a lot of data generated by the vehicle that frankly the consumer has no understanding of or any utility value for, and it doesn't even speak to their particular [personally identifiable information] or any impact upon them personally, but it is the lifeblood of how the manufacturing community evolves and develops safety systems," David Strickland, a former NHTSA administrator who works with a coalition of companies working on self-driving cars, said.
Why it matters: The kind of data gathered by a vehicle is potentially valuable for all kinds of corporate uses — from figuring out insurance rates to advertising — but that raises all the more questions for consumers as we get closer to a driverless future. David has more here on FTC acting Chair Maureen Ohlhausen's warning about over-regulation in this area.