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Ford Says It Only Shares Driving Info With Owner’s Consent

In recent months, privacy has become a big issue in the automotive world, with concerns revolving around the collection and use of connected data rising to the forefront. Ford is right smack in the middle of this controversy, having recently been named one of the worst companies when it comes to its data privacy practices, and is even facing legal challenges over that particular topic – though CEO Jim Farley recently admitted that privacy is a major source of tension with consumers at the moment. With the use of connected vehicle tech – and things like usage-based insuranceon the rise, the New York Times recently published a pretty damning report exposing some alarming practices in use by various automakers at the moment, though luckily, Ford isn’t among the worst offenders.

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition Argentina - Exterior 002 - Rear Three Quarters

Rather, The Blue Oval’s chief cross-town rival – General Motors – is the guiltiest party here it seems, as that automaker provides a company called LexisNexis with real-time driving data, which it then uses to help insurance companies determine rates based on a driver’s risk score. This practice isn’t exactly new, as it’s been employed by usage-based insurance providers for some time now, and Ford also provides LexusNexis with this same data, but it’s the way in which that information is collected that remains a big concern.

In GM’s case, the feature dubbed OnStar Smart Driver is tracking owner’s driving behavior and reporting it to providers in the event that users opt in. Problem is, many owners report that they never opted in to use this feature, and instead, salespeople at various dealerships have reportedly done so without their consent in an effort to receive bonuses related to enrollment rates. As a result, some owners of GM vehicles have been surprised with higher insurance premiums.

Roush 2017-2023 Ford Super Duty Suspension Kit - Exterior 001 - Side

However, in the case of Ford, the automaker “does not transmit any connected vehicle data to either partner,” according to spokesman Alan Hall. Hall noted that the automaker partnered with companies like LexisNexis and Verisk “to explore ways to support customers” interested in participating in usage-based insurance programs, but noted that it only shares driving behaviors directly from vehicles “when a customer gives explicit consent via an in-vehicle touch screen.”

We’ll have more on automaker privacy practices soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. StarLord

    My 23 F-150 has a greyed out sitting for “Insurance Data”. So they must be getting ready for it. Problem with opting of of the data sharing is Ford then disables most of the smart driver features too. So you want to stay private? Then you get none of the automation features either.

    Reply
    1. MichaelB

      If you have the same settings as my ’22 Lightning look in the Connectivity section under “Share Driving Data.” Click the little “i” and you’ll read that they share “acceleration” and “braking” data with 3rd party “service providers” and that toggle is generally defaulted to On and if you disable it you lose most of the functionality in FordPass.

      Reply
  2. Wayne

    I say let’s stop buying new cars. It’s time the public stands together against all these information companies. We are entitled to our privacy.

    Reply

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