California Driverless Car Law Raises Privacy Concerns

MOUNTAIN VIEW (KCBS) – California’s new driverless car legislation is raising a red flag from some consumer groups who are concerned the robo-cars could track a person’s movement and pass them on to advertisers.

The legislation was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown at the Mountain View headquarters of Google.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that he believes the cars are far superior to those driven by humans, but there are concerns. The cars can’t navigate around construction zones, requiring their human counterparts to take the wheel.

KCBS’ Matt BiglerReports:

John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director, said the mapping data used by robo-cars to get peope from point A to point B can also be passed on to advertisers.

“There may be times when you would want to opt-in to having the data shared,” Simpson said. “But you shouldn’t have to be in a situation where that information is used by others without your permission.”

The nonpartisan, nonprofit group said that the Legislature didn’t require Google to come back for final approval before the cars go from testing stage to freeways and roads. They said because of that, it provides no real privacy protections.

California is the third state to adopt regulations for driverless cars.

They are expected to be ready for consumer purchase by as early as 2015.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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