Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security brings you single-source access to the expertise of Bloomberg Law’s privacy and data security editorial team, contributing practitioners,...
By Jimmy H. Koo
Sept. 21 — Driverless car manufacturers should protect consumer privacy and minimize cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities, federal highway safety regulators said in new voluntary guidelines.
Self-driving cars raise “more possibilities and more questions than perhaps any other transportation innovation,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in the guidelines released Sept. 20 by the Department of Transportation' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Connected cars, including many driverless cars, are a part of the internet of things—the network of physical objects able to connect to other products to collect and transfer data via the web. The predicted number of connected cars by 2020 ranges from 31.8 million— estimated by Statista—to 1.5 billion— estimated by Ericsson.
Government officials and lawmakers have previously said that connected cars present real opportunities to revolutionize mobility, but there needs to be minimum privacy and security standards to increase consumer trust (15 PVLR 293, 2/8/16). The NHTSA guidelines are a step in that direction.
Monique Lance, marketing director at Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity company Argus Cyber Security, told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 21 that the guidelines “reflect the growing emphasis placed on cybersecurity within the autonomous vehicle industry yet remains broad based enough to facilitate the critical ongoing collaboration between car manufacturers, cybersecurity companies” and other stakeholders.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center said in a Dept. 20 statement that it is important that any driverless vehicle framework include real compliance obligations and an enforcement mechanism. The NHTSA said that the guidelines should provide a start towards driverless car regulations.
The NHTSA guidelines suggested that autonomous vehicle manufacturers follow a “robust product development process” to minimize cybersecurity threats. It specifically recommended addressing cybersecurity issues at all levels of production.
“Manufacturers should insist that their suppliers build into their equipment robust cybersecurity features,” it said. Autonomous vehicle manufacturers shouldn't “wait to address cybersecurity until after they have received equipment from a supplier,” the guidelines said.
To improve the overall cybersecurity of autonomous vehicles, the guidelines said that “as with safety data, industry sharing on cybersecurity is important.” Companies shouldn't have to “experience the same cyber vulnerabilities in order to learn from them,” it said.
Despite the great potential benefits of information sharing, the NHTSA guidelines said that “data shared with third parties should be de-identified.” This type of data is stripped of information that could identify the specific vehicle or user. Manufacturers need to make sure that the data is collected, recorded, shared and stored in accordance with applicable privacy and security agreements and notices, it said.
The NHTSA guidelines also highlighted the need to protect consumer privacy. To do so, the guidelines said that manufacturers' privacy policies and practices should entail the following seven elements:
In addition to the guidance, the NHTSA released an autonomous vehicle model state policy to assist state governments considering oversight laws or regulations.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jimmy H. Koo in Washington at email@example.com
The “Federal Automated Vehicles Policy” is available at https://www.transportation.gov/AV/federal-automated-vehicles-policy-september-2016.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)