Google defends Android Auto after article says platform collects huge amounts of user data

Android Auto

Google is attempting to allay fears that Android Auto invades user privacy one day after an article came out saying the platform collects vast amounts of user data.

On Monday, automotive magazine Motor Trend published an article that said Porsche opted not to include Android Auto in the upcoming 2017 Porsche 911 because the platform requires cars send large amounts of usage data to Google.

Per the article’s writer, Jonny Lieberman, “as part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, certain pieces of data must be collected and mailed back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs—basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto.”

Lieberman goes on to add that, in contrast, CarPlay, Apple’s in-car infotainment solution, only wants to know if a car is moving while Apple Play is in use, which is why it’s included as a feature in the new 911.

On Tuesday, Google issued a statement to TechCrunch, telling the publication that the Motor Trends article was patently false.

“We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp and coolant temp. Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in Drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS,” says the company statement.

Google told the startup-focused website that Android Auto is able to share, for the purpose of improving location accuracy, GPS data with a linked Android smartphone. The system also shares when a car is in park or drive to display either the on-screen keyboard or activate voice controls.

Interestingly, Google has not commented why Android Auto is not on the Porsche 911, but is on other Volkswagen branded cars.

[source]Motor Trend[/source][via]TechCrunch[/via]