Vehicle privacy

So you use GrapheneOS with Organic Maps or whatever other FOSS navigation app, have a Mint eSim that you registered under an alias and pay with a card or a gift card, turn on airplane mode before going home - or worse, you bought a Faraday bag in order to store it before going home -, then have all data brokers know your home address and second by second location because Toyota just sold you out to them. It feels like the privacy community is asleep at the wheel (pun unavoidable).

It would be great to have a vehicle section on the site, saying what car manufacturers/models to avoid, what to ask at the dealership, after-purchase guides, etc.
But honestly, do we even have that information today?

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Quite possibly: all of them.
I’ve never heard of any privacy respecting connected car, only the opposite.

Hey … maybe the rumoured Apple car … :wink:

Under the assumption that all new cars are leaking location data, the workaround is to not drive a new car. Here are some ideas:

  • “Classic” (20+ yo) cars - expensive to maintain, inferior fuel efficiency
  • Motorcycles - IDK from personal experience, but I assume many new motorcycles are still not “smart” and don’t feature any connectivity whatsoever.
  • e-bikes - these are much slower, often topping out around 30 MPH, but AFAICT few bother with connectivity, I guess because they’re so cheap.
  • public transit - only practical in some cities. Pay with cash and cycle transit passes often.

If it’s safe to travel by bike in your area and you truly feel that you need to carry more stuff than a regular bike can hold, also consider a cargo bike/bakfiets:

Invidious: The Car-Replacement Bicycle (the bakfiets) - Invidious

this is something that came up for me as i was confronted with possibly having to buy a vehicle. i feel like the only possibility i know of for newer cars is disconnecting the antennae they use to communicate, but that seems both difficult and very out of scope for the site.

  1. I’ve been delaying for a while now, too, but will have to face the need to face the need to buy a new car sooner or later.

  2. Yes, getting rid of the car’s SIM should definitely help, but non-connected cars can also record all your data and send it home to the mother ship when you stop it in the shop to get it servicer and;

  3. That’s why we need resources. Only site I could find was, but that’s only for US & Canada, and I’m not sure what exactly it has.

Massive organizations are monitoring your online activities. Privacy Guides is your central privacy and security resource to protect yourself online.

If this out of scope for this site their self definition should change to “your central privacy and security resource to protect yourself online, except from your car”.

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Off course this is an issue, I have also thought about it. But you (we) really need to focus on our REAL threat model…
I have bought a very cheap phone, I believe 70 or 100€, a burn SIM, and I use that with a specific google account and OSM and done… or the built in Toyota maps… and I use that phone only for that, it remains into de vehicle…

Probably impossible in most cars, as the connectivity is deeply integrated into the engine electronics these days.