Examining Newly Released Privacy and Security Guidance for the Fast-Driving Development of Autonomous Cars

Auto manufacturers and technology companies are moving closer to making driverless cars a reality, much to the excitement and fear of consumers. While autonomous cars have the potential to provide enormous safety and environmental benefits, this unchartered territory also presents an array of unknowns for companies and consumers.  As a first step to address the risks of this new technology, and signal possible regulations, the government has released voluntary guidance for manufacturers that addresses safety, privacy and security. “The 15-point Safety Assessment may be a safe harbor that provides a benchmark for car manufacturers to meet,” Alma Murray, senior counsel for privacy at Hyundai Motor America, explained to the Cybersecurity Law Report. “This standard-setting is also good for the consumer/driver in that it sets a standard of care that must be met by manufacturers which, if not met, can subject the manufacturers to lawsuits.”  See also “Managing Risk for the Internet of Things in the Current Regulatory Landscape” (May 11, 2016); and “Tackling Privacy and Cybersecurity Challenges While Fostering Innovation in the Internet of Things” (May 20, 2015).

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