U.S. Government Looks at Regulating Connected Vehicles To Prevent Users From Tracking Victims


The Federal Communications Commission has announced a notice of proposed rulemaking that would allow the agency to use its authority to create protections for domestic abuse survivors by regulating connected vehicles.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s proposal would examine how the agency can use existing law to ensure car manufacturers and wireless service providers are taking steps to assist abuse victims, FCC said.   The agency plans to seek comment on additional steps it can take to safeguard domestic violence survivors.  The FCC said there are multiple media reports of smart car services that were used to stalk and harm survivors of violence and abuse.

Connected devices such as Google’s would be under FCC scrutiny (Image: Google).

“A car is a critical lifeline that can give survivors a way to escape their abusers, gain independence, and seek support,” Rosenworcel said in a statement.  “Survivors of domestic abuse shouldn’t have to choose between giving up their vehicle and feeling safe.  We must ensure car manufacturers and wireless carriers understand the full impact of the connectivity tools in new vehicles and how these applications can be used to stalk, harass, and intimidate.”

As Location Business News reported in January, the FCC asked the largest automakers and wireless carriers how they retain, share, or sell drivers’ location data collected on apps, devices and vehicles.

In letters to both automakers and carriers, the FCC said it was trying to protect survivors of domestic violence violence and abuse through the Safe Connections Act.  The Act was signed into law in late 2022 to require mobile service providers to separate their phone lines from those of their abuser’s.


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