Potential section: cars

Inspired by https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/categories/cars/ it seems that all modern cars invade our privacy. This may be a longer-term research project, but it would be interesting to know which cars are the most recommended from a privacy perspective and in what ways we can improve our privacy. Hopefully, there’s a better way than sticking to 90s cars (which are already banned in some cities e.g. London).


Personally, I would prefer a less “car-centric” section - maybe something like “transportation” - both because not everyone owns/wants to own a car, and because it seems pretty much impossible to get ahold of a new privacy respecting car. So the best long term solution for privacy, if the infrastructure around you allows for it, is probably to go car-free.


See this thread for a bit of recent discussion: Vehicle privacy


Based on the recent Mozilla article it seems like the section would be very short and simple:

  • All new cars violate your privacy
  • Nissan is worse than most
  • Tesla is the worst violator of all (no surprise there).

A bicycle would be private, but public transport not really. In many cities you can only pay by card (Visa/Mastercard) or with a separate transportation card that you may be able to top up with cash but that will still track where you got on or off. There’s few cities where you can still do everything with cash and paper tickets (Berlin is perhaps one of them?). But even then, CCTV is everywhere. Nevertheless it would be interesting to see privacy tips for transportation in general, not just for cars.

For car I guess you could have tips like:

  • dont use the app
  • dont create an account
  • opt out of everything

It seems that modern cars have SIM cards talking home so I wonder if these can be disabled? Or if there’s “safe” makes that don’t have those SIM cards? (On another note, maybe I’m wrong, and the SIM card does not send anything unless you subscribe to a service such as map/traffic updates. After all, that 4G/5G data would cost the car manufacturer a lot of money, especially when the car is used abroad i.e. roaming, and also considering that some people might use a car for 20-30 years.)

Yes, I would add that many areas also have cameras that read license plates to detect speeding or use of toll roads. Not sure there’s much one could do about that, though.

Also paid street parking and parking garages often will not accept cash and/or collect license plate numbers.

Dealerships typically require a lot of personal information from you at the time of sale, and often keep a copy of your driver’s license. Plus you have to have the car registered and, at least in the US, you have to have it insured, which means handing personal info over to a private insurance company.

My understanding was that most cities in North America still allow paying for public transit with cash, but I could be wrong.

I guess concealing your movements has become almost impossible. Even if you drive an old car from the last century which hasn’t got any computer in it.

As long as that’s not your threat model and you just don’t want your car to send unnecessary data about you to the manufacturer to be used for advertising etc, there’s still merit to a privacy guide for cars.

I have just read the article. It’s crazy. Why do we have GDPR when it cannot stop this?