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Government urged to consult on access to connected car data

By / 3 years ago / Latest News / 1 Comment

The Government should consult on the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and access to data for third parties as new research indicates that almost half of fleets aren’t ready for next year’s introduction of the legislation.

Connected cars

BVRLA research suggests almost half of operators don’t have a clear understanding of their responsibilities under the GDPR legislation.

Providing a new potential challenge for businesses, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force next May, and tasks businesses to be transparent and accountable with the data they collect on employees, with fines of €20m or 4% of turnover (whichever is greater) for non-compliance.

In response, Flourish – a multi-sector collaboration intended to advance the successful implementation of CAVs in the UK – has called for a government consultation, as it says that access to data for third parties will play a crucial role in the development of the technology.

The call comes as a newly published BVRLA survey of members and fleet managers finds that 46% of respondents do not have a clear understanding of their responsibilities under GDPR and 48% do not have a clear strategy regarding collection and use of driver and vehicle data.

The research also found that 79% of BVRLA members and fleet managers are concerned that vehicle manufacturers will restrict access to telematics data in order to further their own business goals while 86% say that they should not have to pay for such data.

Penny Searles, CEO of Smartdriverclub, the connected car service, said that before any decision on who has access to data is reached, it’s fundamentally important to recognise whom this data belongs to, adding: “This is such a new and innovative area that there should be much greater transparency and clear communication concerning how the data is going to be used. The majority of drivers may still be happy to say yes, especially if they are offered something in return, but the key point is that they should have the choice, and know they have the choice so they can make an informed decision.”

According to the BVRLA research, although the majority of drivers are happy to share data if it helped with fault diagnosis, automatic breakdown alerts or safety and warranty issues on parts, less than half (44%) are comfortable with sharing data about their driving behaviour and performance and 36% do not like the idea of the sale of data about their location, local weather conditions or vehicle performance.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.