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Consumers Union: Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications Must Be Secure As Fort Knox

December 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today proposed new rules that would require vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology on all new automobiles, allowing vehicles to “talk” to each other. Vehicles would be able to send and receive “basic safety messages,” including information such as speed, location, and direction.

Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, stressed the need for strong cybersecurity standards to ensure that the technology being pursued to save lives doesn’t inadvertently put consumers at risk on the road.

“We’re hopeful that this technology will help prevent crashes and save lives, alongside proven built-in safety features like automatic emergency braking. But vehicle-to-vehicle communications must be secure as Fort Knox,” said William Wallace, policy analyst for Consumers Union. “Automakers must be required to meet baseline, enforceable standards to protect both privacy and security as they roll out this technology. Communications should be protected through strong encryption, and security measures should be seamlessly updated so that consumers don’t have to worry about getting into a crash because their car has been hacked.”