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What Driving Data is Android Auto Collecting From Us?

13 October 2015 - Autoblog

What Driving Data is Android Auto Collecting From Us?

In-car solutions like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make using your smartphone while driving increasingly easy, by replicating most of the gadget's functions on a vehicle's infotainment screen.

While there's certainly added convenience, Motor Trend claims Google is collecting a huge array of data during trips, as well. Although, that might not actually be the case.

In a rundown of the upgrades for the newly refreshed Porsche 911, Motor Trend asserts that the iconic coupe doesn't have Android Auto because of alleged privacy concerns. Reportedly, Porsche elected to only include CarPlay because the Google tech collected info on a vehicle's speed and other data. The German company didn't want to share all of that vital info with another corporation.

Google opposes the allegations, though. "We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp and coolant temp," the company said in a portion of a statement to TechCrunch. Android Auto does use a vehicle's GPS system for location info, and checks whether it's in Park or Drive to enable some features. Also, users must opt-in to sharing the first time that they connect their phone.

There might be an explanation for this confusion, according to TechCrunch. Allegedly before Android Auto launched, Google did want more vehicle data, but the company eventually changed course. Porsche may have based its decision on this earlier version.

This case just shines a light on the growing question of automotive privacy and Google's potential role. The US government has been unhappy with how automakers have handled this responsibility, so far, though.

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