National Press Club

The Bright Promises and Privacy Problems of Connected Cars

The Bright Promises and Privacy Problems of Connected Cars

June 10, 2015 10:00 AM

Location: Murrow Room

The Bright Promises and Privacy Problems of Connected Cars
The National Practice Leader for Infrastructure Developer HNTB’s Intelligent Transportation Systems and a Director from the Electronic Privacy Information Center to Address Issue at National Press Club Newsmakers News Conference

Washington, DC – Today’s vehicles are more connected than ever. Up to 100 microprocessor-based electronic control units networked through the vehicle coordinate and control critical systems like anticipative braking, active cruise control and navigation systems. Now there’s more development underway between auto makers and highway system developers to coordinate efforts, connect cars to infrastructure, and connect cars to each other.

The promise of this coordinated technology is one of express lanes with vehicles traveling at high rates of speed just inches apart in automated platoons. Vehicles will communicate with each other and with the highway infrastructure to create better and safer means of travel. Information will be given to motorists to help them navigate congested urban environments. Even traffic signals may become obsolete with on-board signage replacing traditional roadway signage.

Presenting updates on the progress and promise of this development will be Jim Barbaresso, the national practice leader for Intelligent Transportation Systems for HNTB Corporation, who has worked with major transportation clients across the country in planning, implementing and managing everything from small ITS feasibility studies to some of the largest and most visible ITS programs in the U.S.

But there is substantial controversy to this new technological collaboration. Some see the future of connected cars and infrastructure as another way for undisclosed third party ownership of information taken from citizens as cars talk to other cars, and talk to infrastructure, that could be used by the insurance industry, for example, to regulate fees. There is even talk of biometric sensors on the steering wheels of cars to identify the physical characteristics of the driver. Cars could effectively “spy” on their drivers.

In a report on the issue, “Tracking and Hacking: Security and Privacy Gaps put American Drivers at Risk”, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) warned that safeguards in the auto industry for data collection are inconsistent and haphazard, and has called on the Department of Transportation and Federal Trade Commission to issue rules to protect driver privacy and security. Khaliah Barnes, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), will be discussing findings from Sen. Markey’s report, plus more on what EPIC has been doing about this privacy issue with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other government organizations.

This NPC Newsmakers news conference is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10 at 10 a.m. in the club’s Zenger Room, on the 13th floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th Street NW, Washington DC, 20045.

Like all Newsmakers events, this news conference is open to credentialed media and NPC members free of charge. No advance registration is required.

Contact: David Hodes, Newsmaker event host, 202-596-5037

For More Information On This Event, Contact:

David Hodes