Thursday, February 29, 2024

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    Battle for auto gigabytes

    “New Oil”, “A Means of Controlling the World”, “The Future of Our World” – as soon as the giant volumes of data generated from everywhere at an avalanche rate have not been mentioned recently. So far, humanity has the hope that, if you skillfully analyze them, you can be very successful in business or government.

    But what are the principles to build the collection and storage of valuable data sets, to establish tools for non-discriminatory access to them, how to make sure that personal information does not fall into the hands of fraudsters and unscrupulous businessmen? There are no concrete answers to these questions yet.

    We are now witnessing a vivid example of a serious struggle unfolding in Russia for such a seemingly not so significant information resource as the transmission of data on the condition of cars. The battle for the information that more and more cars are starting to transfer to the digital environment has been unfolding on at least four sides in recent months.

    On the one hand, automakers themselves, of course, are claiming “automobile bytes”, for which it is very important for them to receive operational information about the working condition of what they have produced. On the other hand, the most diverse business is not averse to using data on cars, which, by quickly analyzing the signals transmitted by the car, can predict its future sales of oil, auto components, etc.

    He does not want to lose sight of the automotive Big Data and the state, for which it is important to receive an invoice for analysis, for example, the same road load and the development of road infrastructure (well, information about car owners). And all these forces are opposed by a simple car owner who says: “Excuse me because the car is my property, which means that the information it generates is mine, and I have the right to decide how to dispose of it.”

    How the collection of information from cars in Russia will be regulated, how and to whom access to it will be provided, as well as the fundamental question: who should own the vehicle information – all of this is now vigorously discussed in Russia as part of the creation of a single Avtodat platform, a separate federal law on which is to be adopted next year.

    In connection with this debate, the issue of protecting privacy is again acute. No one is happy with the fact that at every moment a certain system will know where your car is at a given moment, which means, probably, you yourself, when and where you parked, paid or not, and on what roads fines.

    The creators of the Avtodata platform assure that personal data will be stored on servers in an impersonal form, nothing threatens privacy, everything will be within the law. But how to believe this, if in Russia, although there is a separate law on the protection of personal data, lawyers still find it difficult to give an exact legal definition of what is considered private information. And despite high-profile scandals with personal data leaks, no one has been sentenced to real prison terms over the past year. And the maximum fines for legal entities for such a crime are one hundred thousand rubles, ridiculous for large companies, while in the EU the fine for such a violation can amount to hundreds of millions of euros.

    In terms of automotive data, the developers of the new platform are proposing for the first time to pay people to share information about their cars. Perhaps this is a good gesture of respect for the fact that information about a person and what he uses is of great importance. Now it remains to make sure that the bytes and bits of the information field do not become a destructive force for ordinary consumers, but bring them tangible benefits, comfort, and security.

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