The integration of smartphones is now an integral part of vehicle technology. So much so that the majority of the cars you can buy these days have Apple CarPlay and / or Android Auto capabilities, which makes the process more seamless for users. Heck, even commercial vehicles like Mercedes and Scania trucks have Apple CarPlay as early as 2017. But smartphone integration isn’t limited to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – technologies as simple as Bluetooth and USB have been around for some time. .
But it seems that the painless integration and connection between your smartphone and your vehicle’s main unit poses a threat in terms of privacy, Interception reports.
According to a contract shared with Interception, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) paid $ 456,073 for five iVe “vehicle forensics kits” manufactured by Berla, an American company. The deal was made with Swedish data mining company MSAB.
Why do you ask? The Intercept has stated that CBP believes this set of material can aid in investigations. High-tech mining will not only get data related to vehicle usage but also other (read: private) information from mobile phones. The data, of course, was transferred to the infotainment system when pairing the smartphone.
In an incident cited in Interception report, a guest podcast from Berla founder Ben Lemere found that a Ford Explorer returned 70 phones connected to it.
“All of their call logs, contacts, and SMS history, along with their music preferences, the songs that were on their device, and some of their Facebook and Twitter stuff as well,” Lemere added.
If you are a tech savvy criminal, this should be a huge problem for you. But does it end there?
Interception The report also cited that the ability to access private communication in a smartphone – without having to tap into the phone itself – can be a benchmark for warrantless searches of anyone CBP likes. It should be noted that CBP is an agency that has an exception to the Fourth Amendment.
Privacy has become a major concern these days as data integration between devices looms. As a reminder, several tech companies have had and are having issues due to data privacy (or lack of it). Is it time for automakers to get involved and take action?