A study recently completed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the government and automakers have to do a better job at understanding the value of protecting data that is private from electronically connected vehicles. The prevalence of wireless systems to receive and transmit data prompted the research study and the GAO study looked at how federal agencies share, use and collect private data from connected vehicles from 16 different automakers.

Researchers found that 13 out of 16 vehicle manufacturers today share and collect data such as tire pressure readings, the car’s location, and many other functions. While this material is used for research and development to provide more services to consumers, all of these companies denied that they shared or sold privacy data to third parties. However, as more connected driverless cars start traveling the road, this could change. Multiple problems with privacy notices supplied by the automakers were identified when these automakers deny that they sell data to third parties.

A big problem involves opting out of allowing the manufacturer to collect private data because choosing this option could also mean opting out of all connected car services. The study also identified that the NHTSA has not clearly defined the responsibilities and roles they would play as it comes to private vehicle data and only included information about privacy expectations in voluntary guidance.

Although they are not used at large yet, there are many questions about liability in self-driving car accidents. If you or someone you know has already been involved in a vehicle accident, you need to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself.