Government Surveillance

Automakers Confirm Warrantless Location Data Sharing With US Agencies



Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Volkswagen, BMW, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, and Kia all have confirmed that they have tech embedded in their vehicles allowing them to turn over location data to US government based solely on a subpoena, without a judge having to sign off on an approval.

Volkswagen is the “outlier” here, in that this company will do the same if the data is six days or less old – a subpoena will do. But an actual warrant will be needed to turn over data that spans data collected over a week, according to reports.

Recognizing the need to address these concerns, Democrat Senators Ron Wyden and Edward Markey reached out to the Federal Trade Commission to investigate car manufacturers’ sharing of data with law enforcement agencies.

Their letter highlighted various scenarios where the sharing of location data could infringe upon individuals’ rights, including cases involving sensitive matters like abortion access and instances of stalking. The broader question remains: why is the fundamental right to privacy seemingly eroding, regardless of suspected violations?

Here is a copy of the newly obtained letter.

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