Canadians in the dark on vehicle data

by | Apr 1, 2020 | 0 comments

Even though Canadians are open to the idea of sharing vehicle data with specific parties, most feel they are in the dark about what this really means.

Canadians are very interested in data sharing scenarios involving diagnostic information and anonymized data for recalls and service research, but are reluctant to share their driving data.

Less than a third feel they have a clear understanding of the data their vehicle produces.

Those are among the key findings of the latest research from the Automotive Industries Association of Canada.

Data Dilemma: Canadian consumer attitudes towards in-car data, provides insights about the level of understanding Canadian consumers have regarding vehicle data, as well as how they feel about sharing that with others.

Among the findings of the study was that more than three-quarters of respondents believe that vehicle manufacturers should be doing more to educate consumers about the data their vehicle produces and who owns it. As well, more than one-third of respondents believe that the government should be doing more to educate consumers on the subject.

It is interesting to note that vehicle owners, when presented with five specific data sharing scenarios, seemed open to the possibility of sharing data with specific parties: 71% were interested in the prospect of transmitting vehicle diagnostics to the local technician; 70% were interested in transmitting anonymized data to the vehicle manufacturer to better anticipate the need for recalls and better understand the wear and tear of the vehicle.

The response is quite different when the prospect of sharing driving data with insurance companies came up. Only 46% were interested in sharing that data. Similarly, just over half, 51%, or interested in sharing anonymized data with municipal provincial or federal departments to better understand traffic flows for urban and infrastructure planning.

The study includes in-depth insights into consumer attitudes about data ownership and sharing.

“The pervasive and often overwhelming amount of data that surrounds any given individual can be daunting for consumers and it has led to multiple data personas in the marketplace, ranging from data junkies (who enjoy all the latest devices and apps that produce, collect, collate, and package personal data) to data hermits (who try to stay off the grid and cringe at the thought of having anyone else accessing their personal data). So what do vehicle owners know about the data their vehicles produce? Have they ever stopped and thought about the quantity and variety of data at their vehicle produces, and perhaps more importantly, who owns that data?”

For more information about the study, visit


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