FTC warns consumers of rental car data theft risk

The FTC is advising consumers to beware of data leaks to connected rental cars.
The FTC is advising consumers to beware of data leaks to connected rental cars.

In-brief: The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to beware of features that allow rental car customers to connect their mobile phone or other devices to in-vehicle infotainment systems. They could result in the leak of sensitive information! 

The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to beware of new ‘connected car’ features that allow rental car customers to connect their mobile phone or other devices to in-vehicle infotainment systems.


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“If you connect a mobile device, the car may also keep your mobile phone number, call and message logs, or even contacts and text messages,” the FTC said in an advisory released on Tuesday. “Unless you delete that data before you return the car, other people may view it, including future renters and rental car employees or even hackers.”

The Commission is advising renters to avoid syncing their mobile phones to their rental car, or to power devices via a USB port, where settings on your device may allow automatic syncing of data. Consumers who do connect their device should scrutinize any requests for permissions. Renters are also urged to remove their device from the vehicle’s memory before handing it back over to the rental firm.

Source: What is your phone telling your rental car? | Consumer Information