On May 28, Reuters quoted sources saying that BMW, Daimler and Ford have set up facilities in China to store data generated by cars locally. Two days prior to this news, Tesla announced that it had established a designated data center in China to store data generated by all its vehicles sold in the country.
Nowadays, cars are equipped with more and more sensors and cameras. The natural attribute of smart cars is to continuously improve product experience by collecting data. As the data generated by the system is used by manufacturers to help develop new technologies and functions, it gradually raises concerns about data privacy and security issues, especially when the information may be sent abroad.
China introduced a cyber security law in 2017, requiring all companies to store critical data generated locally within China, but that was before “smart” cars became a major concern for automakers. This month, China’s cyberspace regulator issued a draft rule requiring automakers to obtain customer consent to collect driving data. During the public consultation phase, the rule also requires automakers to store data locally and obtain regulatory permission when sending such data to foreign entities. Globally, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) had also set strict regulations on how companies should process and store data.