Google sets the record straight after allegations of deep Android Auto data harvesting

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Although not all automakers seem to agree infotainment systems developed by Google and Apple are the future of connected vehicles, industry veterans like Chevrolet, Volkswagen, General Motors, Buick, and Hyundai have led the way in Android Auto and CarPlay adoption recently.

According to a detailed Motor Trend piece on the just-announced 2017 Porsche 911, the reason the high-performance sports car manufacturer chose to support only the latter, not also the former standard, and essentially shut the door on control via Android smartphones, was Google wanted to know too much.

Now, everybody’s well aware of a certain degree of intrusion from the services and apps that make our lives easier in the 21st century, but the controversial article claimed a line was crossed, and Porsche said “nicht gut.”

Among the information Android Auto was accused of sneakily collecting, you had your usual suspects, including car movement for security-enhancing reasons, but also unexpectedly comprehensive stats about the 911’s inner workings, such as coolant and oil temperature, throttle position, engine revs, and vehicle speed.

Needless to emphasize an invasion of a driver’s and automobile’s privacy of that magnitude would be distressing for a number of reasons, but Google promptly came forward with official statements meant to drastically lessen the impact of the exposé.

Without going into detail, the search giant told the press it merely harvests info “that improves the Android Auto experience, allows the system to be hands-free when in Drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS.”

Google also stressed the users aren’t forced to share data they’re not comfortable with, opting in to do the above, and denied it was ever interested in “throttle position, oil temp and coolant temp.” Case closed? You tell us.

Sources: Motor Trend, The Verge, Android Police

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).