United States: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Considers Privacy Implications for New Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology

Last Updated: October 11 2014
Article by Charles K. Shih

The Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") announced in 2014 that it would begin steps toward implementing vehicle-to-vehicle ("V2V") technology with an aim toward decreasing the number of traffic accidents on the nation's roads.  V2V technology allows communication between cars on the road to alert drivers of potential accident situations.  However, with the new V2V technology come additional privacy concerns.  In August, the NHTSA released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for V2V technology.  In addition to key findings on privacy and security, the report included findings on the technical feasibility, and estimates of costs and safety benefits. The following is a review of the NHTSA's key privacy findings for the V2V system.

The NHTSA report began with an emphasis that the V2V system:

  1. Would not collect or store data on individuals or individual vehicles, nor would it allow the government to do so;
  2. Would not contain data in safety messages exchanged between vehicles or collected by the V2V security system that could be used by law enforcement or private entities to personally identify speeding or erratic drivers;
  3. Would not permit tracking through space or time of vehicles linked to specific owners, drivers, or persons;
  4. Would not collect financial information, personal communications, or other information linked to individuals; and
  5. Would not provide access to the vehicle for extraction of data.

The NHTSA report also assured that the V2V system would enroll enabled vehicles automatically without collecting any information identifying specific vehicles or owners, and would enable the NHTSA and motor vehicle manufacturers to identify lots or production runs of potentially defective V2V equipment without the use of VIN numbers or other information that could identify specific drivers or vehicles.

In its analysis of the transmission, collection, storage, and sharing of V2V data, the NHTSA focused on two categories of V2V system functions – system safety and system security.  Regarding system safety, the V2V system requires devices to send and receive safety messages containing information about a vehicle's position, heading, speed, and other information relating to vehicle state and predicted path.  This communication information does not contain personally identifying information ("PII") and is broadcast in the limited range required for vehicles in the vicinity to communicate with each other.  Regarding system security, the information consists of the exchange of certificates and other communications between V2V devices and the entity or entities providing security for the V2V system.  This information would be encrypted and subject to security measures aimed at preventing unauthorized intrusion and access to the system or vehicle.

The NHTSA report also contained proposed recommendations for a privacy policy framework for V2V systems.  The proposed Privacy Policy framework focused on the following principles:

  1. Collection and transmission of "anonymous" data only from users for mandatory applications;
  2. Anonymous maintenance of data until destruction;
  3. Collection of personally identifiable information ("PII") only with the consent of the consumer;
  4. Use or transmission of PII in a manner that prevents misuse or loss; and
  5. Prevention of unauthorized attacks on the system.

Through these identified principles, the NHTSA recommended specific requirements for V2V systems including implementing end-to-end anonymity for privately owned or leased vehicles and occupants for all V2V technologies; for mandatory services, having no ability to track specific identified vehicles across space and time; implementing protection from attacks on the system by providing secure, end to end encryption of vulnerable communications; changing short-term security certificates and vehicle identification every few minutes to prevent location tracking, and assigning certificate signing requests in an anonymous fashion; providing multiple legally and administratively separate Security Certificate Management System entities with distinct governances; and providing sufficient security to prevent hackers, users, and system administrators from accessing any information that can be linked to individuals or motor vehicles.

Finally, the NHTSA also laid out key elements for future privacy assessments of V2V systems by the Department of Transportation and the NHTSA.  The privacy assessments will focus on eight particular areas:

  • Transparency – Are consumers informed of the data that will be collected and transmitted by the V2V system and how the data is used?
  • Individual Participation and Redress – Do consumers have a reasonable opportunity to make informed decisions about the collection, use, and disclosure of their PII? Will consumers have an opportunity to make decisions regarding the collection and use of their data?
  • Purpose Specification – Are the purposes of the collection, use, maintenance, and dissemination of data or categories of collected data properly disclosed and reasonable?
  • Data Minimization – Is data collection and retention being minimized to necessary collection retention and no excessive collection and retention is being done?
  • Use Limitation – Is assurance being provided to consumers and any other subjects of the data collection that the data will not be used for purposes that are incompatible with the purposes disclosed and for which the data is being collected?
  • Data Quality and Integrity – How will the system assure data quality and integrity throughout the data lifecycle and in all business processes associated with data use?
  • Security – What physical, technical, and procedural measures will system administrators take to protect the data?
  • Accountability and Auditing – Does the V2V system have adequate procedures in place to ensure that the privacy controls are being followed and executed?

While the implementation of the V2V system may increase safety, because there are often questions regarding whether new technology introduces new privacy or security risks, the NHTSA appears to be using the privacy and data security principles, privacy policy foundations, and privacy policy assessments to show their focus on these concerns.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions