June 26, 2022

Volume XII, Number 177

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June 24, 2022

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Navigating the Data Privacy Landscape for Autonomous and Connected Vehicles: Balancing Consumer Privacy and Monetization

This is the last part in a series of advisories on data privacy best practices for autonomous and connected vehicles. To read previous advisories in this series, please visit: Best PracticesDocumenting Data CollectionDefining Data Privacy Principles and Implementing Effective Data Security.

The data collected from connected and autonomous vehicles is a treasure trove of information that can be used to continuously improve the customer experience, provide valuable and potentially cost-saving conveniences, and improve user and vehicle safety.

Today, much of the focus for data monetization seems to be on consumer-related data. Global management consultant McKinsey estimates the financial opportunity for AV companies to monetize this data at $250-$400 billion within a decade. Some examples of this monetization, noted in their new report on Unlocking the Full Life-Cycle Value From Connected-Car Data, include “insurers… tailor[ing] insurance rates to driving styles, for instance, and certain cities [using] sensory data to identify potholes. A few media agencies have also increased their advertising reach through new touch points inside and outside of vehicles.”

This industry-within-an-industry is possible because the collected data from connected and autonomous vehicles can allow third party businesses to deduce driver demographics, as well as coveted psychographic and behavioral factors such as personal interests, recreational activities and other preferences. More importantly, effective use of this data can dramatically increase driver safety while reducing traffic and road congestion.

In this dynamic landscape, in-house counsel should create privacy practices for connected and autonomous vehicles that meet or even exceed consumers’ privacy expectations while maximizing the data’s benefits. Strategies to accomplish this include highly transparent and accessible disclosures, meaningful consumer choice and effective data deidentification.

© 2022 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 145
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About this Author

Adam Brody, Partner, Varnum
Partner

Adam is a partner in the Litigation Practice Team concentrating on complex civil litigation in both state and federal courts. He has extensive first-chair experience, including trial, appellate, and alternative dispute resolution work. While Adam has experience in a broad range of matters, including intellectual property litigation, the defense of wrongful death claims, property tax litigation, and cases involving covenants not to compete, his work is primarily focused on commercial contract...

616-336-6461
John J. Rolecki Litigation Attorney Varnum Grand Rapids, MI
Partner

John represents clients in various types of complex commercial litigation and provides counsel on matters including regulatory compliance, licensing and insurance coverage. He has successfully represented clients in a range of litigation including contractual and supply chain disputes, unfair competition, creditors' rights, securities disputes and administrative actions. John's background in complex matters includes bringing cases to summary judgment, trial and courts of appeal in state and federal courts throughout the country.

Practice Areas

  • Insurance
  • ...
616-336-6398
Jeffrey M. Stefan II Auto and Emerging Technology Attorney Varnum Law Firm
Counsel

Jeffrey is a technology-focused corporate attorney with broad legal authority in autonomous and connected vehicles. He previously served as autonomous vehicle counsel for a major global automaker providing regulatory counsel and transactional support. Prior to that role, he supported the automaker's emerging technology portfolio, which included connected vehicle services and other advanced safety technologies.

Jeffrey helps his clients navigate the evolving legal and public policy landscape for new and emerging technologies. He additionally focuses on technology startups assisting...

313-481-7343
Andrea M. Gumushian Attorney Data Privacy Varnum Law DC California
Associate

Andrea is an associate on Varnum’s data privacy and mobility practice teams. She advises leading mobility and technology providers on domestic and international data privacy laws and regulations. Her practice includes drafting and reviewing data protection impact assessments, privacy policies and product-specific privacy notices. Andrea helps clients implement policies and procedures for responding to consumer rights requests and data breaches under the EU-GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act. She also has experience reviewing vendor and customer contracts with a...

313-481-7347
Justin M. Wolber Corporate Attorney Varnum Law Grand Rapids
Associate

Justin has a variety of experience working in several areas of the law. He is a skilled researcher with experience in litigation, corporate, real estate, and employment matters. Justin has experience in drafting organization and entity formation documents, performing due diligence in corporate matters, and providing research on commercial litigation and employment law matters.

While in law school, Justin was a member of Notre Dame’s Jessup International Law Moot Court team and participated in Notre Dame’s London Law Program.

616-336-6952
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