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Helping to secure privacy for data generated by connected cars


Cybersecurity is playing an increasingly prominent role in vehicle purchase decisions.

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Connected cars, vehicles containing devices that connect and exchange car data with networks and services, are behemoths of data processing—up to 25 gigabytes of data per hour.¹

But users are increasingly concerned with the privacy of that data.

According to a recent automotive study by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), 56 percent of executives say security and privacy will indeed be key differentiators in vehicle purchasing decisions.² And in another recent IBV consumer study, 62 percent of consumers said they would consider one brand over another if it had better security and privacy.³

Additionally, recent global developments in privacy regulations heavily affect the personal data processing activities related to connected cars. Among these, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is perhaps the most stringent.

It’s time for a new approach that addresses these growing requirements. Stakeholders of the entire connected car ecosystem, including manufacturers and their suppliers, insurers, retailers, and application providers, need to forego a piecemeal approach and embrace privacy end to end.

We call this approach “privacy by design and default.” These principles encompass the three major phases of a vehicle’s life cycle: designing in privacy, building in privacy, and driving with privacy.⁴ This report details this comprehensive approach.

¹ Charette, Robert N. “This Car Runs on Code.” IEEE Spectrum. February 1, 2009. https://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/advanced-cars/this-car-runs-on-code/0

² Stanley, Ben and Kal Gyimesi. “Automotive 2025 - Industry without borders.” IBM Institute for Business Value. January 2015. https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/institute-business-value/report/auto2025

³ Unpublished data from IBV survey on: “A new relationship— people and cars.”

⁴ Poulin, Christopher, Giuseppe Serio, Ben Stanley. “Accelerating security: Winning the race to vehicle integrity and data privacy.” IBM Institute for Business Value. January 2017. https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/institute-business-value/report/acceleratesecurity


How can IBM help you?

The pace of change in automotive is accelerating. Markets have evolved from manufacturers and service providers largely defining what types of vehicles to produce and market into entirely new forms focused on driver experience. Consumers, clients and colleagues are becoming active participants rather than passive recipients.

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Privacy is a brand issue and you need to protect your brand. And if you're not prepared to comply with the growing number of global data privacy laws such as GDPR, you could be exposing your company to significant business risk.

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Meet the Authors:

György Halmos

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, EU Privacy Consultant, IBM Security,
Jayne Golding

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, Executive Consultant, European Privacy Lead, IBM Security,
Ben Stanley

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, Automotive Research Lead, IBM Institute for Business Value

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