Think twice before syncing your phone with your car; the data it could be collecting


ST. LOUIS– You may want to think twice before syncing your smartphone with a rental car on your next trip. It could take all the data off your phone and potentially even use it against you says Scott Schaffer of Blade Technologies.

Schaffer says when you sync your phone with the infotainment unit it asks if you want to sync contacts. He says most times, all of your data will be accessed, not just the contacts.

The infotainment units can also collect sensitive information like recent destinations, favorite locations, contact lists, text messages, Emails, pictures, and more.

However, that unit is also accessing information like when your vehicle’s lights are turned on, which doors are opened, the odometer reading, ignition cycles, speed logs, and more.

Schaffer says you should consider that information when you pair your phone with a rental car. He says especially since the infotainment unit can retain information from several past users.

A recent story by The Intercept reports the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol purchased 5 vehicle forensic kits. These kits are said to be able to gather all information stored on the vehicle, including information obtained through mobile devices paired with the infotainment system.

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