• Access to in-vehicle data – Insights from the Brussels bubble (Blog post from Region I Director General, Laurianne Krid)

    13 April 2021

    2021 will be one to remember: access to in-vehicle data has been on the legislators table for long, but DG GROW vowed to make a legislative proposal before the year ends.

    FIA Region I and its members have tirelessly defended users’ right to “own” their data, and their right to choose whether to share their data and with whom. Sounds obvious, right?

    FIA Region I left no stone unturned, investing in research along the way. We surveyed European citizens, proposed a cybersecurity concept for an Open Telematics Platform, and quantified the economic costs of failing to act. We also made sure to debunk fake arguments around liability and data protection legislation. We could not afford to be complacent, as a fair access to in-vehicle data is key for the future of many mobility services.

    We are happy to see that several Brussels’ stakeholders are now increasingly putting consumers at the heart of their communication. Including vehicle manufacturers: in a recent message, ACEA Director General says:

    “(…) vehicle manufacturers are already sharing in-vehicle data. The reason for that is very simple: the customer is king. And data sharing increases comfort and convenience for customers, improves products and services, and contributes to achieving societal goals such as improving road safety, reducing fuel consumption and facilitating traffic management.”

    It is refreshing to see ACEA also putting consumers first and we look forward to seeing how this change of paradigm would be reflected in their policies.

    Other powerful players, such as Insurance Europe, are also joining our call – and showcasing the limitations of their bilateral engagements with manufacturers:

    “Insurance Europe will continue pushing for any proposal to include the necessary safeguards to ensure – consumers – and society in general – will make most of the opportunities arising from connected and automated driving.  Divers must remain in control  of their vehicle data and be free to share it with the service provider of their choice, without having to go through the vehicle manufacturers”.

    Finally, the European Data Protection Board recently published its consolidated guidelines. Despite strong lobbying, they kept their interpretation that data from a vehicle is personal, even if it has a technical element:

    Technical data are produced by a natural person and permit his/her direct or indirect identification.”

    Ensuring a fair access to in-vehicle data based on consumers’ choice is a multi-faceted challenge. However, it seems that, at the very least, a more consumer-centred narrative is emerging as a basis for the European Commission’s legislative proposal.

    At FIA Region I, we will continue to work, together with our AFCAR partners and other stakeholders, and deliver quality research, to ensure that this rational delivers the kind of results that consumers expect and deserve.

    Laurianne Krid
    FIA Region I Director General