These critics now have a new source of data collection to be weary of: the automobile. More and more new cars are connecting to the internet, and whenever something goes online in today's world, you can bet that its data is being collected and stored.
The debate about what companies should be able to do with this data-both legally and ethically-continues to rage on, but big data is now a big business that shows no signs of slowing down.
The Connected Car
According to a recent report from the Associated Press , just under 20% of new cars sold globally are connected to the internet. However, that number is expected to grow quickly and could reach up to 75% by 2020.
Confused about what kind of data your car could be collecting? Well, think about all the things you can do in a brand-new vehicle. Cars that connect to the internet have advanced mapping systems, built-in music streaming, and even automated driving controls.
That's just the technology that's available today. Very soon we'll have fully autonomous cars, which means vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. We'll also start to see intelligent maintenance and weather monitoring.
Starting to see how this all comes together? Remember, when you do these types of things on your mobile devices and computers, companies like Facebook, Alphabet Inc. Google Apple, Amazon and Yahoo are watching and learning. These brands use your data to learn more about you and your online habits in an effort to target you with relevant advertisements and products.
Your driving habits are becoming the next big thing for companies to learn about you.
Before we get too scared of "big brother" joining us in the car, we have to look at positives of vehicle-based data collection. Researchers from McKinsey pointed out four main areas that drivers could benefit from increased data tracking:
1) Safety: Data tracking should improve safety by allowing for automatic emergency calls and on-site accident data for first-responders.
2) Time: By keeping track of the roads we take, new cars will be able to reduce the amount of time we spend driving and parking by finding optimized routes and open spots.
3) Convenience: Increased data collection will improve predicative maintenance capabilities, which should result in less breakdowns and costly repairs.
4) Cost: More data tracking will increase the availability and effectiveness of pay-as-you-drive insurance.