Google Refutes Motor Trend On Android Auto’s Data Collection

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Google has come to Android’s defense after a Monday report in Motor Trend sparked fears over the amount of data collected by its Android Auto Software. Striking back, the search giant said that the report has gotten the key details wrong.

Google assures privacy of data

In a statement made to The Verge, Google said that it takes the privacy of its customers very seriously and does not collect data such as throttle position, oil temp and coolant temp as has been claimed by the article in Motor Trend.

“Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS,” the Internet firm said.

Google said that it collects data only when it wishes to enhance the safety of drivers or enables an important user experience such as using GPS for mapping. Android Auto makes use of the same opt-in model for data sharing as Android phones do by asking for permissions from users about what they are comfortable with sharing when they set up their vehicle for the first time.

Why did Porsche ditch Google?

Google’s statement contradicts the Motor Trend report that said Porsche was afraid of Google’s data collection practice, and because of this, that it chose to go with Apple’s CarPlay in its 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S. It is worth noting that Volkswagen, the parent company of Porsche, does install Android Auto in some of its vehicles.

The Motor Trend article on Monday claimed that the Android Auto Software requires the cars to send a large amount of usage data to Google, and due to this, Porsche opted not to include it in the upcoming Porsche 2017. In contrast to Android Auto Software, Apple’s in-car infotainment system, CarPlay is only interested in knowing if a car was moving while Apple Play was put to use, the article said.

The article said “as part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, certain pieces of data must be collected and mailed back to Mountain View, California.”

Google chose not to respond to a question from The Verge about the possible reason behind Porsche’s choosing CarPlay.

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