Show the benefits and users will consent
In a recent seminar on smart vehicles, one delegate raised his hand and asked the OEMs on the panel, “I want a connected vehicle with all the benefits, but I don’t want you to know where I am”. To which came the reply, “buy a ‘67 Mustang”.
The suspicion remains amongst much of the public that data is gathered primarily for commercial purposes, and that it will only result in yet more “targeted” advertising appearing somewhere in their digital view. They are increasingly fed up with being a “product” and want to be customers again. The latest iteration of automotive industry thinking offers a possible solution. The “extended vehicle” would record data off site on a greenfield server. Designed primarily to create secure data flows, information could be pooled (and largely anonymized) on a neutral server where it could be used to great effect in, for example, road safety and traffic management, for the benefit of everyone. It also obviates the problem of what happens when the car is sold on, since the car itself is essentially a drone, with no sensitive information held on-board.
Though still conceptual, the benefits of such an approach may be enough to win over the majority of consumers, if not Mustang Man.
Andrea Millwood Hargrave,
Director General, International Institute of Communications
- Wednesday, 13 December 2017