Data breaches by social-media companies, third-party apps and big tech firms have become a matter of concern, but the biggest abuser of personal data are car-makers, according to a study by Mozilla.

While connected cars have been the new buzzword in the automotive industry, most (84 per cent) car brands researched by Mozilla say they can share your personal data with service providers, data brokers, and other businesses we know little or nothing about. Worse, 76 per cent say they can sell your personal data.

“All 25 car brands we researched earned our *Privacy Not Included warning label, making cars the official worst category of products for privacy that we have ever reviewed,” said Mozilla.

“Every car brand we looked at collects more personal data than necessary and uses that information for a reason other than to operate your vehicle and manage their relationship with you,” it said.

Intimate details

According to Mozilla, car companies can collect the intimate information of users — medical information, genetic information, the speed at which you drive, and the songs you play in your car — in huge quantities. They then use it to invent more data about you through inferences about things like your intelligence, abilities and interests.

“It’s bad enough for the behemoth corporations that own the car brands to have all that personal information in their possession to use for their own research, marketing, or the ultra-vague business purposes. But then, most (84 per cent) of the car brands we researched say they can share your personal data with service providers, data brokers, and other businesses we know little or nothing about,” said the report.