Study: Connected car owners will trade personal data for services

A study conducted by Edison Research has found a willingness from connected car owners to trade personal data for services.

The research, commissioned by automotive data services platform Otonomo, indicates high-profile privacy breaches have not shaken the majority of consumers’ willingness to share personal data — as long as it’s clear what services they’ll receive in return.

On average, around 80 percent of those surveyed who expressed interest in connected services indicated a willingness to share personal automotive data in order to access specific capabilities.

Here are how many of those surveyed would be willing to share personal data for each feature:

  • 81% — Alerts of dangerous driving conditions ahead

  • 81% — Early detection of maintenance and repairs with detailed information

  • 80% — Faster response times from emergency responders in an accident

  • 79% — Improvement of quality and safety of roads, based on feedback from your car

  • 78% — Traffic updates and suggesting routes

A brand establishing trust with customers remains important. Around 69 percent of consumers say how others perceive the company is most important in whether they also trust it.

Lauren Smith, Policy Counsel, The Future of Privacy Forum, comments:

“This study underscores that consumers recognise the benefits of connected car features, and are inclined to share the data that enables them with entities they trust.

For connected car companies to continue earning that trust, they should communicate the purposes of such data collection and use, and incorporate privacy choices and safeguards.”

Transparency about how the data is being used is important. 64 percent of new car buyers indicated it was “very important” to be told about the use of their data and who has access to it.

Confidence in automakers protecting user data is generally high, with 71% of new car buyers and 77% of connected car owners stating they were confident in car manufacturers protecting their data. Put in comparison, less than half of car buyers had confidence a social media site would secure their data.

According to Edison Research Senior Vice President Tom Webster:

“While consumer trust in some industries is trending very low right now, car manufacturers are amongst the most trusted in terms of how they treat customer data.

This paints a very compelling picture for the future capabilities of the connected car.”

Overall, consumers are happy with the new technologies being put into cars. 90 percent agree that technology is making cars safer, while eight in ten also say it’s making the experience “more fun” to be a driver or passenger.

What are your thoughts on the study’s findings? Let us know in the comments.

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