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Wednesday, 12 October 2016 23:57

What to Expect: Vehicle Hacking, Accident Avoidance Technology & Cybersecurity


Vehicle Security

During the third portion of the forum, Bob Redding, lobbyist for ASA DC, moderated a seminar on vehicle cybersecurity with guest speakers Lauren Smith from the Future of Privacy Forum and Bob Gruszczynski from Volkswagen.

Smith said that transportation is expected to change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50. One of the biggest changes is that cars are increasingly relying on more data and sensors, and becoming more like a computer.

Data collection in vehicles isn’t new by any means. Computerized systems have been in cars since the 1960s and data recorders, used since the 1990s, are in 96 percent of cars today. However, there have been many recent developments.

“The prediction is that 50 billion connected devices will exist by 2020,” said Smith. Not only is more data being collected, but it is also being communicated outside of vehicles through the manufacturer, a plug-in or a service installed by the owner of the car.

This can include sensitive data such as where someone is located as well as biometric information that collects physical and biological characteristics of the driver. Smith cited the example of internal cameras that capture facial recognition, voice samples and the individuals who are in the car.

Another area of sensitive data being collected includes behavioral driving patterns. Behaviors such as speed, steering and braking could lead to safety features like driver correction and alerts but according to reports, your behavioral driving patterns could be as identifiable as a thumbprint.

Smith said it’s important to look at what types of images are being stored on the car and being sent off and how this information is being used.

As part of the Future of Privacy Forum, she said their approach is to determine best practices for these types of new technologies and figure out how to enable the technologies to exist and be useful but also to think about consumer protection. “Yes, your car is learning more and more about you and sometimes that sets off red flags,” said Smith. “But the reality is that what your car knows about you can save your life and we’re here to foster those conversations.”

Gruszczynski spoke to attendees about the short- and long-term solutions to address cybersecurity issues. These include vehicle manufacturers using gateways, shutting down automatic enhanced diagnostic recognition and transmitting the data to a cloud.

“It’s the responsibility of the repair shop owner to make sure that the systems in the shop are secure,” said Gruszczynski. “You don’t need to have an IT guy on staff or on call, but you should have somebody on your staff who does understand all of the aspects of the data that comes from the vehicle and where it goes.” He also recommended that shops do their best to stay educated about new requirements.

“I think there needs to be continuous work together to make sure the data stays safe, consumers stay safe and vehicles stay safe,” said Gruszczynski. Smith agreed. “This is the very beginning of this debate and I think as the data grows and as the technologies grow this will become a bigger and bigger topic,” she said.

Summary of presentation based on information shared by Lauren Smith, Future of Privacy Forum; and Bob Gruszczynski, Volkswagen.

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