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Mercedes Exec Says China Is Collecting Consumer Data From Cars

 TagsChina, Mercedes, Reports, Tech
A Mercedes-Benz director has revealed that Chinese companies are collecting data about drivers and looking to sell the information.

Speaking at last week’s The Future of Mobility Summit, director of strategy at Mercedes-Benz, Claus Ehlers, said he had been approached by a Chinese company offering to sell consumer behavior profiles of all Mercedes drivers in the country.

Ehlers reports that the company in question was combining driving data with government data it had access to in order to build a profile of drivers. The director failed to provide more specifics about exactly what data the company had, but QZ suggests the information could provide a carmaker with insight as to how much a consumer is willing to spend on a vehicle, for example. Similarly, if a Mercedes owner frequently drives fast, the brand could try to sell them a more powerful vehicle.

Things don’t stop here. Ehlers says he was also offered a list of Chinese drivers who had similar customer profiles and driving habits as current Mercedes drivers but owned other car brands. Citing privacy concerns, the German automaker turned down the offers.

In an industry where cars are becoming more advanced and increasingly connected with online servers, it seems this type of data collection could become the new norm.



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