Google’s Android Auto Under Fire For Alleged Privacy Invasion

Google is trying to eliminate public fears about its Android Auto platform after a magazine stated that it was an invasion of privacy.

The automotive magazine Motor Trend recently published an article that stated that Porsche decided not to utilize Android Auto in its 2017 Porsche 911 due to the fact that the platform requires automobiles to send large amounts of usage data to Google.

According to the author of the article, Jonny Lieberman, in order for car manufacturers to use the program, select pieces of data would be required to be collected and sent to Google. This data includes things like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant levels and engine temperatures.

Lieberman said that Google requires a “complete OBD2 dump” upon activating Android Auto.

The article went on to state that Apple’s in-car platform, CarPlay, only requests information regarding whether or not the vehicle is moving while Apple Play is being used. Unlike Android Auto, CarPlay will be utilized in the 2017 Porsche 911.

Google is outraged by these reports, as the company claims that it does not collect all the data stated by the magazine.

Google said in a statement, “We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp and coolant temp. Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in Drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS.”

According to Google, Android Auto shares GPS data with a linked Android smartphone for the purpose of improving location accuracy. The platform also shares data regarding whether the car is currently in park or drive in order to display either an on-screen keyboard or to activate a voice control system.

Of course when Google produces its own car, it can utilize whatever features it wants. The Google driverless car is expected to be available to the public by 2020.

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