Newer cars with technological advancements might know more about you than you think. With conveniences such as GPS, Bluetooth and increased mobile connectivity, a car could store personal information like your contacts, text messages and even garage door opening codes.


Data your car may be collecting

Chubb has launched a new service to remove personal electronic information from their insurance customers’ vehicles if the cars are deemed a total loss after a crash. Chubb will have technicians scan for personal information and wipe it from customers’ vehicle systems. The service will come at no additional cost and be available nationwide.

The types of data newer vehicles collect can include:

  • Event data recorders (EDRs), which record information about a car’s operations moments before a crash, such as speed, accelerator, brake position, seat belt use and whether the air bags were deployed.
  • On-board diagnostic information (OBD-II), which is installed in all vehicles manufactured after 1996. The OBD-II monitors vehicle systems like engine, exhaust and fuel pumps. Some drivers plug in a third-party device to record driving habits like speeding and hard braking, which may help them earn a car insurance discount.
  • Location information, which could be collected by your car’s navigation system.
  • In-cabin information, microphones, cameras and other devices that are typically used for emergency services or for hands-free cellphone use.
  • User recognition, which in some cars identifies drivers by biometric information such as a fingerprint or face recognition.
  • Apps that interface with third-party services such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Even if a high-tech car isn’t totaled, it’s a good idea to think about the types of personal information that could be stored when you’re renting or selling a car. For more information, here is a guide provided by the National Automobile Dealers Association and the Future of Privacy Forum.