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Google receives an average 5.6 billion searches a day, with 63% of them coming from mobile devices.

With millions of these devices connected to vehicle infotainment systems, new research can reveal just how much access manufacturers have to their drivers. A brand-new study from has delved into the privacy policies of 15 of the most popular car manufacturers around the globe, finding out which brands tell us most about the data they collect.

Out of the 15 manufacturers in the study, seven can access your search history. These are Tesla, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Honda, Mini and Land Rover.

One of the most intelligent cars on the market today – Tesla – places first in the study for consuming the most driver data, scoring 20 out of 28. Being a leader in innovation, Tesla’s personalised driving experience needs copious amounts of data to function at full capacity, and it even send alerts when the driver is not paying attention during self-driving mode. Audi also scored highly for accessing driver data, with an overall score of 19 out of 20 in the study. Data collected from the infotainment system in an Audi scored highest in the whole study. With its drivers connecting via the my Audi App, Audi can provide a read aloud function for Twitter messages, online news and emails. For drivers who may have concerns over their data being accessible, the experts asked Chris Clark for his tips on how to make sure their data is safe. “The first thing would be removing all of your Bluetooth data. “The next thing that you can do, which is probably the most pervasive and most available to consumers of today, is to take the vehicle to the dealership and have them reflash the entire vehicle. Why? “It should update the vehicle to the latest software that’s available. This helps to keep the car secure but also updates things like maps to get safer navigation settings. It should ensure that all the information about driver habits, location, paired devices, etc. is removed from the vehicle because it’s been electronically updated. “And that’s the best thing consumers who are really concerned about their personally identifiable information can do. “Unfortunately, the way that the vehicle systems are designed, you lose a lot of the capabilities that you typically would buy that new car for if you don’t connect your phone. “New car purchases don’t tend to be about how much horsepower, how the vehicle handles, how comfortable the vehicle is anymore. It’s more about the features the vehicle brings e.g. lane detection, safety, security, works with a smartphone. “So in terms of disabling or not utilising some features in the vehicle, one wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. It’s more about being cautious of where that information may go and when you sell the vehicle, you remove the data.”

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