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Watch Out That Your Rental Car Doesn’t Steal Your Phone Data

Watch out how you connect to cars.

Here’s something to think about the next time you plug your phone into a rental car: The vehicle may be slurping up and recording all sorts of data, including your location, personal contacts, and even your text messages and web browsing.

That warning comes via a Federal Trade Commission blog post this week, which highlights a downside of so-called “connected cars.” The gist of it is that, today, a strange car is just like a strange computer, and consumers should be careful how them connect to them.

A blog post written by an FTC staff attorney describes how rental cars can not only access and record your cell phone data, but hold on to it for an indefinite period. The risk is obvious.

“Unless you delete that data before you return the car, other people may view it, including future renters and rental car employees or even hackers,” explains the post.


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