The ownership of customer data

The ownership of customer data

The question of who owns automotive data is complex and concerns all players in the industry, including manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and repairers. In general, it is quite common to consider that data collected by connected vehicles belong to their owner or the user of the vehicle. This is the case in other industries, such as health data for example. This means that driving data, location data, maintenance data, and other collected data belong to the user of the vehicle, who may choose to share them with another party or not. 

However, automotive data may contain safety information that must be processed without waiting for the user’s consent, for the benefit of the vehicle users and for the safety of other car drivers.  

This notion of safety, which is crucial for the automotive trade exemption, disrupts the initial analysis that everyone can make on this issue and makes it difficult to compare automotive data with data collected in another industry. 

At a time when data ownership has become a central element of valorization and when its exploitation is decisive in the development of activities, institutions, professional representants, and legislators are working hard to establish a stable framework for the players, while respecting consumer protection imposed by the GDPR. 

In any case, data collected in DMS belong to those who entered it, and there is already a lot to do. You’ve been warned!