In a world where nobody seems to care about privacy any more, I suppose it's not surprising that a case about what I'd call an egregious intrusion into personal privacy has been thrown out.
A federal judge on Tuesday refused to bring back a class action lawsuit alleging four auto manufacturers had violated Washington state’s privacy laws by using vehicles’ on-board infotainment systems to record and intercept customers’ private text messages and mobile phone call logs ... the appellate judge ruled Tuesday that the interception and recording of mobile phone activity did not meet the Washington Privacy Act’s standard that a plaintiff must prove that “his or her business, his or her person, or his or her reputation” has been threatened.
In an example of the issues at stake, plaintiffs in one of the five cases filed suit against Honda in 2021, arguing that beginning in at least 2014 infotainment systems in the company’s vehicles began downloading and storing a copy of all text messages on smartphones when they were connected to the system.
An Annapolis, Maryland-based company, Berla Corporation, provides the technology to some car manufacturers but does not offer it to the general public, the lawsuit said. Once messages are downloaded, Berla’s software makes it impossible for vehicle owners to access their communications and call logs but does provide law enforcement with access, the lawsuit said.
There's more at the link.
I've warned about this before, but nothing ever seems to be done to control it, and it keeps getting worse. Once you link your smartphone to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto or a similar app in your vehicle, your entire cellphone usage is open to scrutiny, downloading and analysis, whether you like it or not. What's more, it's highly likely to be aggregated and sold to companies who want to use that data for targeted advertising. Even the dealer who services your vehicle can download your cellphone data, if he has the right software - and a surprising number of them do.
Even worse, that happens when you rent a car as well. If you link your phone to the rental vehicle, the rental company now has that access as well, as does anyone else who rents the same vehicle later and knows how to access the activity logs of previous renters.
That's why I never, ever link my cellphone to a vehicle's internal systems, no matter how convenient the latter may be. A lot of us old farts value our privacy, and take what steps we can to safeguard it . . . although in this day and age, that's probably more comforting than effective.