October 14, 2021 Press Release

Consumer Data Privacy in the Spotlight as Auto Innovators Brings Experts Together


Alliance for Automotive Innovation Hosts Latest Autos2050® Future Driven Forum


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Alliance for Automotive Innovation (Auto Innovators) today hosted a discussion with thought leaders on the topic of consumer privacy and the auto industry’s efforts to protect consumer data. The “Public Roads, Private Data: How the Auto Industry Protects Privacy” event was part of the Autos2050 Future Driven Forum series. Today’s discussion centered around the industry’s groundbreaking Consumer Protection Privacy Principles and what future regulation could mean for both the automotive sector and consumers.

Joining Auto Innovators President and CEO John Bozzella and moderator Hilary Cain, Vice President of Technology, Innovation, and Mobility Policy for Auto Innovators, were Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum, Maureen Ohlhausen, former Acting Federal Trade Commission Chairman and current Partner at Baker Botts, and Tim Tobin, Partner at Hogan Lovells.

“As motor vehicles become more sophisticated and digitized, they generate more data. That data is helping the auto industry build vehicles, systems, and networks that reduce emissions and resource consumption and increase road safety,” said Bozzella. “We developed and adopted groundbreaking consumer privacy principles to protect the privacy of vehicle data,” he continued.

As automakers work toward the realization of a smarter, cleaner, and safer transportation future, protecting the data in vehicles that will drive these innovations is a top industry priority. Through the Consumer Protection Privacy Principles, the auto industry is leading the way for consumers.

“There are efforts that I think are sincere, which I think this one was, where the goal really is to pull forward the entire industry, to help folks that work in legal and compliance and building the next generation of services to ensure that there is a common understanding of what the standard bar is,” said Polonetsky.

Panelists also recognized the difficulties resulting from the current multi-state patchwork of data privacy laws.

“When you have these broad-based state laws and multiple of them creating a whole host of different obligations, it becomes quite challenging for an industry that operates in a particular way and has particular considerations to comply with,” said Tobin.

As federal discussions around the establishment of a national data privacy framework continue, panelists highlighted the role that the automotive industry’s proactive efforts and voice on data privacy will play in shaping the conversation.

“I think a lot of the principles were very forward-looking and we will see that in some of the things that you have in those self-regulatory principles adopted into a federal law in a very similar way. But, I think there’s always a role for self-regulation in such an important area for business and consumers,” said Ohlhausen.

New technologies are changing the future of personal mobility and automakers are working to bring consumers the safest, cleanest, and most advanced vehicles possible. Auto Innovators has continued to host exciting conversations and outline key measures needed to support continued innovation in the auto sector, including its EV Charging Infrastructure Principles, Driver Monitoring Principles, the Electric Vehicle Agenda, the Innovation Agenda, and the AV Policy Roadmap. Be sure to sign up for Transforming Mobility: The Auto Innovators Summit taking place November 3 and 4.