Your car is stealing your data. Here’s how. | WheelHouse

– Your car is spying
on you, and that sucks. Sure, we expect it from our phones and other smart devices
like our smart fridges. But our cars? Why? Why must they desecrate
the holiest of sanctuaries? Yeah, I yell at other
drivers, I sing to myself, I try to name all 50 states to
pass the time on my commute. But what are they gonna
do with all that data? Corporations have a lot to gain with your private information, no matter how small those
nuggets of info might be. YouTube gives you suggested videos based off what you watched. Google uses your searches
to sell targeted ads. And Amazon tracks what products you order and suggests new ones
based off your history. Or they suggest slightly different versions of a product I just bought! Amazon, I don’t need another jean steamer, I bought one and it works just fine. Car companies are no different. They collect information on you, whether that’s how far you drive, where you drive, how
efficient your car is, or what you listen to on the way to work. All that data is valuable in figuring out exactly who you are as a consumer. So what are they doing
with all this information, and how is it legal? We’ll get to that. But first, let’s talk about how
long this has been going on. Spoiler, a lot longer than you think. General Motors realized pretty early on that data collection from cars was useful. OnStar was founded in 1996 with an aim to make driving safer. Yes, OnStar, the blue button you hit to be saved after a car crash. The OnStar system wasn’t just a way to call an ambulance, though. It was one of the first of it’s kind to offer hands-free calling,
turn-by-turn navigation, and other emergency services that were included with your subscription. Later on though, it evolved
to track diagnostics, vehicle location, and how often you use your vehicle: all in real time. According to the OnStar website, the information collected can be used to improve the quality, safety, and security of their
products and services to develop new products,
services, and for marketing. OnStar’s admitting that their
data is used for marketing. They’re basically doing
the same thing as Google. OnStar states that all this information is presented to the driver
before they buy a subscription. If the driver does not consent to their data being harvested, then that particular car isn’t tracked. So why doesn’t everyone just not consent to OnStar tracking their data? This type of data has never been used in cars before so people don’t expect it. Literally millions of drivers
have been tracked by OnStar, who probably just think of
it as an emergency service. Plus, nobody reads those contracts anyway. How many of us have actually read the fine print on contracts we sign? I’ve literally never read one
word of an iTunes agreement, yet I’ll click read every single time. I don’t need another thing getting between me and Limp Bizkit. (“Rollin’ (Air Raid
Vehicle)” by Limp Bizkit) Oh, Wes, you beautiful son of a (bleeped). But the worst part, see
that star on the logo? Flip it upside down and what do you get? That’s right, the Order
of the Eastern Star, the symbol of the Freemasons. Explain yourself, OnStar. What are you doing with all my data? What do you know about me? What are you telling Uncle Sam? OnStar was the first, but it definitely wasn’t the last to spy on you. Today, every car company has their own way of tracking real-time data from drivers. The term connected vehicle describes a car that transmits data via the internet. And according to ABI Research, 98% of new cars sold
in the U.S. and Europe will be connected
vehicles by the year 2021. As of today, there are
more than 78 million cars on the road with embedded
cyber connections. That’s a lot of data! So where does it all go? Well, that data can be super useful when it comes to improving transportation, reducing emissions,
reducing traffic accidents, and of course, detecting crashes. But in my opinion, the most
valuable connected device is the event data recorder, or EDR. It’s basically a black box you would find in an airplane, but for your car. EDR is a generic term for a
tamper-proof memory device that is triggered in the
event of an accident. Anything from a sudden
change in wheel speed to an engine fault can trip the device. Once it’s triggered, it records
a wide range of elements that might be useful
to crash investigators. Things like whether or not
the seat belts were buckled, whether brakes were applied, the speed at the time of the
crash, anything like that. Most EDRs store this data on a rugged memory device within the car, but systems like OnStar transmit some of that data to off-site locations. While G.M. and OnStar have streamlined their data collection and processing, many car companies don’t really know how to consume the massive stream of data they’re receiving from their vehicles. That’s when a company
like Otonomo comes in, like Winston Wolfe to clean things up. – I’m Winston Wolfe, I solve problems. – Otonomo describes itself as the first connected car data marketplace. Frankly, a very ominous
description for a company that takes all the raw data
from drivers, analyzes it, and wraps it up in a neat little
package with a bow on top. Why does it need a bow, you ask? Well, because Otonomo sells that package to third-party companies and splits the profits with car manufacturers. That’s (bleeped) up, man! (sighing) This data can
be so-called benign info, like your commute routes,
your average speed, and whether or not you
wear your seat belt. Or they can be selling more personal data, like who you listen to on the radio, what stores you frequent,
or even your weight. Yeah, those little sensors
on your seat for the airbags, your car knows you’re a thick boy. Look, I’m insecure enough
about my weight as it is, I don’t need Otonomo
knowing how much I weigh so Amazon could suggest XXL t-shirts and a shake-weight for some reason. Why do they even sell those things? It’s just like your just … I’m not even gonna do that on camera. Worse, it’s unclear who the car companies are selling your data to. Understandably, they won’t come out with a list of who is buying your data. I will say it does make sense
for a navigation company like Waze to use it to optimize routes, or insurance companies to know if you wear a seat belt or not and
hike up your premium. The biggest problem with
all this data collecting is that it’s still pretty
new to the car industry, so it hasn’t been regulated yet. Other industries like
health care, education, and finance, they collect your data, too, but there are strict laws
dealing with how they use it. Don’t worry, though. A bunch of car companies got together and wrote a letter to the
Federal Trade Commission, promising they wouldn’t
do anything nefarious with all the data they’re collecting. That makes me feel great. I don’t have to worry about anything. Key features of the letter
included transparency regarding how auto makers collect, use, and share information
retrieved from vehicles, heightened protections for
sensitive types of consumer data, and limitations on the sharing of geolocation information
with government authorities. But promises don’t mean (bleeped),
and it’s clear that data is already being abused
by car manufacturers. I mean, how many of you
even knew about this before you clicked on this video? The data we are unknowingly giving up means tons of dollar signs
for car manufacturers. And this is just the start of it, profit is only going to
get bigger as time goes on. In fact, a new report by
consulting firm McKinsey estimates that revenue in
this sector could reach 450 to 750 billion
dollars by the year 2030. I don’t know what it is,
but something tells me car manufacturers might not stick to their guidelines they
set in their little letter. That’s a lot of money. So, yes, if you own a new car, chances are your car is spying on you. But there is something you can do. If you’re buying a new
car, go ahead and opt out of the data tacking if it worries you. But remember, chances are
you have a cell phone, which is doing the same
exact thing, (laughs) so there might not be any way to avoid it unless you’re completely off the grid. Honestly, I could care less
if car manufacturers know that I’m driving to Jersey
Mike’s three times a week. But I understand why other people would have a problem with it. After all, where can we be in complete privacy if not in our cars? Speaking of spying,
there’s something you can do right now to protect
your privacy online. This episode of WheelHouse is
brought to you by ExpressVPN, a service I personally use on my phone and my laptop even at work. I don’t trust anybody. When you shop online,
it’s possible for people to steal your credit card information. I would rather people don’t steal my credit card information, which is why I use ExpressVPN. For less than seven dollars a month, and a 30-day money back guarantee, ExpressVPN hides your IP address and other important identifiers
from other people online. Every website can see your IP address and location, even in Incognito Mode. I bet you didn’t know that. With ExpressVPN, I feel
safe from the prying eyes of nosy websites, and advertisers, and those freakin’ hackers
trying to steal my stuff. You don’t need to see my stuff! Find out how you can get three months free by clicking the link in
the description below. That’s Take back your internet privacy today. I wish I did it sooner. Trust no one. Do, do, do, do, do, do,
do, do, do, do, do, do, do. Siri, are you spying on me? – [Siri] No. – Like this video,
subscribe, contribute to the social media surveillance machine by following me on Instagram @NOLANJSYKES and following Donut @DONUTMEDIA. Be nice, see you next time.


  1. My newest car is 15 years old and I won't get one newer until theres a car that comes without all the technology crap I dont want

  2. So when we receive the amber alerts, can they track the people who are running through the spy features in their cars?

  3. My car ain't doing anything but hauling ass at my right foot's command. Thats why i drive an older model vehicle. Soon i(amongst others) will be like Sylvester Stallone in demolition men. 😎

  4. So is me yelling “MUSTANG” every time i see a mustang (my dream car) helping car manufactures sell products?

  5. Bruh, if 98 percent of the cars are already connected, we might as well make cars co-operate with each other on highway automatically

  6. Oh wow. This is why the dealership doesn't let you leave without setting up OnStar. Luckily in my last vehicle it didn't work so I could leave without it lol.

  7. Oh! As a Chinese I feel really shame to say that our cars won't spy on us! We lost in the competition of losing privacy!

  8. i think my 2005 c240 is safe, even if it has a system, based on how often other parts of the car breaks, it probably already broke

  9. Shit i drive a 1984 amc eagle xD there aint a damn bit of technology in that thing. My privacy is mine in my car

  10. If you're going to make such a big claim then you better provide some real solid proof for it and why it's bad you fucking internet douchebag. Or go and live in a cave and disconnect from the internet and vehicles

  11. One time i was on sirius xm and then somebody "called", before i can say hello he started speaking he was speaking Russian or something

  12. That is why i love my 1998 Honda Civic. Does not have a gps, just a plain old radio. Manual locks, manual windows, no radar cruise.

  13. Cars that have no computers are not stealing data… It’s the ones that do!
    Also my comment was just collected by Google…

  14. okay all me cars were made before good technology like me 89 mustang street strip drag car or my 96 daily they are not new there just cars no new pleasures and i ain't driving no new car cause old school is the best kind of school

  15. shit, my truck is 25 years old so i guess im going to miss out on all the targeted ads for tires and parts due to my car snitching on me

  16. ive seen every single wheelhouse video multiple times… somehow i’ve never seen this one. i’m not sure what’s up but it’s lowkey sus

  17. Glad I have an old car that uses none of the bluetooth wifi internet computer crap drivers can't live without. Break your selfie thumbs you weak generation 😂🤣😂🤣

  18. This video is mildly disturbing

    Unfortunately though this is very very common with Self driving cars At the same time self driving cars fail at self driving quite a bit Failure rate is high

  19. “I don’t trust anybody”

    Except for expressvpn themselves. Don’t know which way is more dumb.

  20. So theoretically law enforcement wouldn’t need a warrant to get data from the car computer they could just purchase it? Have you heard anything about the car computer downloading cell phone data when a person connects their phone to the car in order to play music from the phone? Could hackers also use the car computer to download information from the phone while its plugged into the car either by cord or Bluetooth? I appreciate your video it was very informative.

  21. There should be a bill pass when auto companies sell or "release" data to third-party companies we the consumers should receive such info just to beware of who "f**k me over."

  22. The only wireless connection my 20 year old mitsu has is the one to the key remote and the Bluetooth on my cheap aftermarket headunit.

  23. End user agreement. Insurance companies do it through your phone, & app. and imagine to if you connect your phone through blue tooth

  24. Wait…

    Does that mean my R A Z E R car is spying on me?
    A: Yes
    Does it mean my Chevrolet 1955 Bel Air is spying on me?
    A: Please stop.

  25. My 91 Colony Park is not spying on me. One reason why I refuse to buy newer cars. Don't underestimate government access to that data either.

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