Report Outlines Key Privacy Considerations for Video-Based Safety Systems in Vehicles
Despite fewer vehicle miles traveled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 38,680 individuals died in motor vehicle accidents in 2020 — the largest projected number of fatalities in such accidents in over a decade. Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) released a report detailing the data usage and privacy implications of video-based safety systems in vehicles. The report, co-authored with Samsara Inc. (NYSE: IOT), the pioneer of the Connected Operations Cloud, describes how Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) work in commercial fleets, identifies the data used by these systems and urges the adoption of privacy best practices that go beyond compliance with existing privacy and data processing laws.
As vehicle safety technologies grow more sophisticated and affordable to deploy, vehicle manufacturers are increasingly adopting AADAS in vehicles. ADAS technologies utilize cameras and sensors to enable adaptive cruise control, emergency braking systems, and other measures — all with the aim of increasing driver safety.
Although these technologies are increasingly commonplace, the report describes how ADAS may create privacy risks for drivers, passengers, and other road users. Privacy risks involving location data, in-cabin video, and audio recordings can be particularly acute when drivers routinely eat, sleep, or talk in their vehicles.
Recent actions by the Department of Transportation, including initiatives such as FMCSA’s Tech-Celerate Now program, anticipate that ADAS will become increasingly common in the commercial transportation industry. The Report identifies key data flows and privacy risks while emphasizing that privacy safeguards must be implemented along with ADAS tech.
Policymakers, commercial fleet operators, and their technology partners must recognize these risks and weigh data protection considerations when assessing the broader use of ADAS and related technologies.
“Policymakers, technology vendors, and commercial fleet managers must recognize and mitigate privacy risks to individuals when assessing the broader use of ADAS and related technologies,” said John Verdi, Senior Vice President of Policy at FPF. “Just as the technology will continue to develop, privacy and data processing laws must evolve as well.”
The Future of Privacy Forum and Samsara urge the adoption of privacy best practices that go beyond compliance with existing privacy and data processing laws, including:
- Implementation of privacy by design principles, privacy impact assessments, data minimization strategies, and privacy-enhancing technologies;
- Provision of enhanced transparency mechanisms to individuals;
- Implementation of practical security safeguards appropriate for the sensitivity of the relevant data; and
- Use of robust written policies and contracts to ensure that privacy protections remain attached to the data and that all parties with access to data understand their obligations.
“Technology needs to be designed and used with privacy and security in mind – it is no longer good enough to provide lip service to it,” said Lawrence Schoeb, Legal Director and Data Protection Officer at Samsara. “This is one of many reasons we strongly encourage the operation of any video-based safety systems to be consistent with and reflective of privacy best practices.”
To learn more, download the full report.