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China Develops Machines That Can Track Data Sent Abroad By Cars

China Automotive Engineering Research Institute says it has developed a system to analyse the path of data transmission by using a detection device to monitor uploaded data and data gathered from vehicles

Cars are being fitted with more and more sensors and cameras to assist drivers, but the data it generates can also be used by carmakers to develop new technologies. Reuters photo.

 

China, the world’s biggest vehicle market where regulators are implementing new rules on data protection, is developing machines that will be able to track data sent abroad by cars, a government-backed agency said on Tuesday.

Cars are being fitted with an ever-increasing array of sensors and cameras to assist drivers. But the data such equipment generates can also be used by manufacturers to develop new technologies, such as autonomous driving systems, raising privacy and security concerns, particularly when the information is sent abroad.

Automakers in China are required to store data generated by vehicles locally and need to get regulatory approval when they need to export critical data abroad.

US electric carmaker Tesla is under scrutiny in China over its storage and handling of customer data.

Beijing has been increasingly concerned over the mountains of data amassed by private firms and whether such information could be attacked or misused, especially by foreign states. It recently implemented a new data security law and is tightening up oversight in other related areas.

 

TESLA CONCERNS

In May, there were reports that staff at some Chinese government offices were told not to park their Tesla cars inside government compounds due to security concerns over vehicle cameras.

China Automotive Engineering Research Institute Co Ltd (CAERI) said in a statement it has developed a system to analyse the path of data transmission by using a communication-detection device to monitor uploaded data and data gathered from vehicles in a testing environment.

CAERI said the system is the first of its kind in China and was praised by government bodies.

The institute also tested several vehicles, including Tesla’s Model 3 sedan as well as sport-utility vehicles made by Audi, Daimler Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover, the statement said. It did not disclose the results.

Global automakers, including Tesla, Ford Motor and BMW, said in May they were setting up local data centres to comply with China’s regulatory requirement.

 

• Reuters and Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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