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Legislation Announced To Provide Consumers Rights To Control Their Own Car Data

Today, Senator Bill Monning (D-Monterey) joined the Automobile Club of Southern California, AAA of Northern California, consumers, and business leaders to announce legislation that will provide car owners rights to control their own car data, which is being generated within their own vehicle and currently transmitted to automakers.


“Our cars are quickly becoming mobile computers, and while this technology provides several important benefits to consumers, it is imperative that there are basic safeguards in place to ensure consumers can decide who has access to their data,” said Monning. “The modern connected car can greatly improve safety, enhance convenience and lower costs, but it can also tell automakers other personal information that consumers should have more control over. SB 994 will provide car owners disclosure, access, and choice when it comes to their car’s information.”


In 2014, one in every five new cars sold or leased is a connected car. By 2025, it is expected that 100 percent of the new cars sold will be connected. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced plans for regulations that would require all cars to communicate with each other in an effort to avoid collisions.


With new technology transforming the driving experience, cars are able to transmit vital information on their performance, location, and even how, when, and where people drive. With these cars, it raises important questions:

  • Who has access to the data from your car?
  • Can you control access to your car’s information?
  • Can you choose who will receive your car’s data for the services you want?


SB 994 will answer these questions clearly for consumers by providing the following protections:

  • Disclosure: Ensure consumers are informed and understand what information is being collected and what is transmitted to the automaker.
  • Access: Ensure consumers have access to their car information and prohibit automakers from creating exclusive systems.
  • Choice: Ensure consumers have the right to control who can access their car information and designate other service providers to receive their information to provide needed and wanted services.

“On behalf of 10 million California consumers, the AAA clubs believe car owners should have basic rights in controlling their own data,” said Alice Bisno, Senior Vice President of the Automobile Club of Southern California. “Just like a smart phone or computer, consumers should be allowed to know what information is being collected and decide who has access to their information. As more cars become connected cars, and as more information gets transmitted to carmakers, this issue needs to be addressed now.”


Last year, AAA surveyed their members and other consumers. 79 percent of the respondents agreed that “consumers always should be able to decide if information generated about their car can be shared and with whom.” 85 percent believed that we should have “laws to protect consumers’ right to their car information.”


In the next few weeks, SB 994 will be considered by a Senate policy committee.


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The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.