Does Your Car Hold A ‘Treasure Trove’ Of Secrets?

Mon 22nd Jun 2020

As more and more motorists are synching their in-car entertainment to their phone, a new report is warning of the dangers of leaving sensitive personal data on their car’s system.

A survey from Which? found that of the more than 14,000 cars sold in the past two years, 79 per cent of owners took no actions to remove data from the technology before selling it. Personal data found on some cars can include contacts list, text messages, location data and wi-fi info.

With 54 per cent of car owners admitting that they had synced their phone using Bluetooth or a USB, there could be thousands of cars carrying someone else’s data.

Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, said: “If cars are not treated the same as a smartphone, tablet or other connected devices when it comes to data security, motorists risk giving away a treasure trove of information about themselves when they decide to sell their car.

“Manufacturers must do much more to prioritise customers’ personal privacy so that drivers fully understand how much data their vehicle could be harbouring and how to delete this information in order to eradicate these risks.”

Connecting your phone to your car’s entertainment system can help drivers play music, easily contact friends and family through the phone, get access to phone Apps and even listen to Whatsapp messages.

Worryingly, the Which? poll reveals the level of technological ignorance many drivers have when it comes to understanding the level of data transferred and stores in their car. Fifty-one per cent of owners had not tried to unsync their phone, while 31 per cent had taken no action at all to remove personal information from their cars.

The easiest way to remove data from your car is to return the infotainment system to its factory settings.