Innovation and Technology

Data Protection Principles for Connected Vehicles

Vehicle and internet are increasingly coalescing. Next generation vehicles are connected.

VDA Members provide data protection principles for connected vehicles

Vehicle and internet are increasingly coalescing. Next generation vehicles are connected. Digital connectivity gives answers to challenges with regard to increasing traffic flow, leads to improvement in road safety and contributes to the reduction of environmental and climate pollution. Due to these advancements in connectivity, additional data and information flows will be generated. When developing these technologies, data protection is of high importance. In light of this development and in addition to existing statutory provisions VDA members - car manufacturers and suppliers – have mutually formulated data protection principles for connected vehicles. These data protection principles consist of the following three core elements: transparency, self-determination and data security.


Car manufacturers provide for customers a variety of information and ancillary services. With the help of these data, information which is necessary for operation or security of the vehicle but also information which is usable for new services can be obtained. It is important that the customer is informed for which purpose which data are collected and processed in accordance to the data protection principles. Technical data relevant for the servicing such as fill levels or consumption can be read via interfaces in the vehicle. They will be used by service advisors or trained technician for diagnosing and repair of any malfunctions or by the manufacturer for analyzing vehicle functions. German manufacturers inform their customers about processed vehicle data applying data protection principles. This is done for example through displays in the vehicle itself, through online services or via user manuals.


Collection, processing and use of personal data are subject to customer´s self-determination. In connected vehicles, the customer may always determine himself if and which data he wants to exchange. If a customer refuses the storage of given data, certain services may not be utilized.

Data Security

VDA members protect customers against misuse of data which are necessary for communication systems of the vehicle applying the data protection principles. Security relevant systems within vehicle electronics will be dealt separately from navigation, telematics or infotainment systems. For example, navigation system and engine control are two completely separated circuits. Gateways and Firewalls will seal off security relevant aspects of the connected vehicle, data will be encrypted. Software and hardware architectures of the vehicles will be steadily further developed and will continuously provide a high level of technical safety.

Graham Smethurst
Graham Smethurst Head of Co-ordination Unit Networked and Automated Driving

Tel: +49 30 897842-426 Fax: +49 30 897842-7426
Nach oben springen