Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Dodge is an American car brand that now falls under their larger parent company Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA). Founded in the early 1900s, Dodge became part of the storied Detroit based car tradition. Probably best known today for their Dodge Ram trucks and their Charger and Challenger muscle cars, they also make the Durango SUV. The Dodge app and the UConnect connected services lets you do all the remote things like remote start/stop, lock/unlock, honk the horn, flash your lights, and access navigation and entertainment options. How's Dodge at privacy? Well, that's tough (and not in a good way). Dodge, and their parent company FCA, aren't at all good at privacy.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Dodge/FCA says they can collect a massive amount of personal information and vehicle data on your from your Dodge, the Dodge app, and the UConnect connected services if you use them. So many things like your name, precise geolocation, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), driver’s license number, and other government identifiers, browsing history, search history, biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints or facial templates, and more. Oh, and then they say they can also collect more data on your from third party sources such as data brokers, social media, and car dealers.
They also say they can collect a lot of data about you and your car. Things like "performance data, and other sensor data generated by your Vehicle, images, and event data generated in connection with certain Connected Services (such as autonomous driving and distracted driver features), data from third-party account services that you link to your Connected Services account (e.g., Amazon Alexa), and images captured in connection with vehicle camera record." Then there's all the driving data they say they can collect on you. Things like, "speed, acceleration and braking data; direction of travel; trip data (e.g., mileage, date, time, weather conditions, location, route taken); ignition events; steering events; cruise control data; seatbelt status; information about Vehicle incidents or events; other information about how you drive a Vehicle; and associated date/time stamps for such information."
And then they go on to say they can use much of this personal information and car data to draw inferences about you "to create a profile reflecting an individual’s preferences, characteristics, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities or aptitudes." They want those profiles on you so they can do things like market products to you based on those inferences and interests and your location, target you with what they call relevant ads, and personalize content to you to keep you using, and paying for, their services. That profile they create on you from all this data is quite valuable to them, and to other third parties, who want to know as much about you to try and sell you more stuff. In that vein, Dodge/FCA say they can share -- or even sell -- that information to a large number of service providers, business affiliates, subsidiaries, marketing partners, data brokers, car dealers, etc etc on and on and on. None of this is good for you (or your passengers) privacy.
Speaking of security vulnerabilities. While Dodge/FCA's track record at protecting and securing all that data and connected services seems better now, back in 2015, they became the first car company forced to issue a recall of their vehicles based on a cybersecurity threat. Then, Wired first reported how two hackers were able to exploit vulnerabilities in a FCA-owned Jeep Cherokee entertainment system to take remote control of the car. Then they could do everything from mess with the air conditioning to turn the radio on and off, to stop the car's acceleration. That report eventually resulted in FCA issuing a recall of 1.4 million vehicles to fix the security vulnerability. That's the bad news. The good news is, we couldn't find any recent news of security vulnerabilities, data breaches or leaks from FCA.
So, what's the worst that could happen as you're hauling stuff in your Dodge while using your Dodge app and those UConnect connected services to stay online on your road trip? Well, we're sure glad they fixed those security vulnerabilities they had back in 2015 that allowed hackers to take control of your car and stop it and more through UConnect system. That's pretty much a worse case scenario if that could happen again. Other than that, well, Dodge/FCA knowing way more about you than they should, sharing that with data brokers who can then sell that to who knows who for who knows what purpose, well, that gets pretty scary too. Especially if they learn you like to take your big old truck to the mall every Friday while listening to Taylor Swift on the radio and looking up news articles on the hottest Tiktok fashion trends. That might set you up for way more targeted ads that you and your family could possibly afford.
Tips to protect yourself
- Opt out from sharing or selling your Covered Data with third parties.
- If you are from California, opt out from selling of your personal information.
- Do not give consent to tailored advertisement.
- Always do a factory reset on your car before selling or trading it away to wipe your data clean and disconnect the app.
- Before reselling your car, make sure to notify the company
- When buying a used car, always make the previous owner removed their connected account and performed a factory reset.
- Always use strong passwords and set up two-factor authentication for apps and services that connect to your car
- Only give access to your data to trusted third-parties
- When connecting a mobile app to the car, make sure to minimize the amount of data collected through this app. You can use iOS or Android settings to limit the data collected through your phone.
- Opt out from your mobile device's location sharing.
- Do not use Amazon Alexa in your car if you are concerned about Amazon collecting that voice request information, IP address, and geolocation information and using it to target you with advertising.
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
"First and last name, address, phone number, email address, account name, SSN, other contact information, IP address, VIN, online identifiers, driver’s license number, and other government identifiers or other unique personal identifiers; records of products or services purchased or considered, records from usage of the Connected Services, or other purchase or usage histories; Inferences drawn from other personal information that we collect to create a profile reflecting an individual’s preferences, characteristics, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities or aptitudes, information about an individual’s educational history, audio, electronic, visual, thermal, olfactory, or similar information, Vehicle- and driving-related data: location data from your Vehicle or device; driving data about your Vehicle, such as dates and times of use; speed, acceleration and breaking data; direction of travel; trip data (e.g., mileage, date, time, weather conditions, location, route taken); ignition events; steering events; cruise control data; seatbelt status; information about Vehicle incidents or events; other information about how you drive a Vehicle; and associated date/time stamps for such information, odometer, mileage, MPG, and emissions data; trouble or error codes, and other diagnostic data; service and maintenance history; engine performance; tire pressure data; weather, temperature and other driving conditions; fuel levels and refueling activity; battery levels and status; images from cameras; other performance, mechanical and operational data; Vehicle settings, commands and presets, points of interest, and other information about your use of certain features; and associated date/time stamps for such information; audio, visual and other electronic data, including data related to your Vehicle usage or interactions with us, such as error codes, diagnostic and performance data, and other sensor data generated by your Vehicle, images, and event data generated in connection with certain Connected Services (such as autonomous driving and distracted driver features), data from third-party account services that you link to your Connected Services account (e.g., Amazon Alexa), and images captured in connection with vehicle camera record; profiles and inferences, Additional data pieces collected: - From FCA dealers: FCA authorized dealers (independently owned and operated businesses) may provide us with purchase, payment, and finance information (when you purchase or lease one of our vehicles from them), information about vehicle maintenance, services, repairs, warranty claims, quality, and customer support, as well as data about prospective buyers. - Third-party data: such as vehicle sales records and motor vehicle records, as well as third-party data providers that provide us with information to update and enhance our customer records and provide us with leads including lists of potential vehicle purchasers, current, or former owners. - Affiliates and partners: including third-party providers of certain features or portions of the Services or Connected Services. Also, if you take advantage of a third party or affiliate offer through the Services, we may receive information from that third party about your interaction with them."
"Fingerprints or facial templates, if you enable and enroll in biometric authentication to access your Vehicle or certain Connected Services"
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
Child Privacy Information
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
We cannot determine if all data sitting on the car, including telematic data the car collects as well as data shared when you connect your phone sits encrypted, and if all collected data is encrypted in transit. We reached out to the company to attempt to determine this multiple times and received no response.
FCA runs a bug bounty on BugCrowd.
In 2020, Fiat Chrysler signed an exclusive deal with Waymo (former Google self-driving project) to develop autonomous driving technology.
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
Supreme Court foregoes hearing Fiat Chrysler appeal in cybersecurity caseCyber Talk
Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4 million cars after Jeep hackBBC
Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot shareholders vote to merge, creating world's fourth-largest car makerNBC News
Fiat Chrysler and Waymo sign exclusive deal on self-driving commercial vehiclesCNBC
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