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Press Release

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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Your Car is Spying on You, Protect Your Privacy

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications,, 850.413.2842

CFO Jimmy Patronis:
Your Car is Spying on You, Protect Your Privacy

~ Provides tips on how to protect your privacy when purchasing a smart vehicle ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is alerting Floridians about new features in vehicles that track and collect your personal information and provided tips on how to limit data collection on you and your family.  

CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “Vehicles today are like smartphones with wheels. Often times, consumers who purchase new vehicles have no idea that they are signing away the rights to their personal information to companies who collect and sell that information to other entities who want to know your purchasing and lifestyle habits. As technology progresses in our society, we must enhance consumer protections to guard the personal information of Floridians. Consumers deserve to be told what they’re signing and to op-out. Even where that opportunity is available, it should be required that dealers inform customers of their rights before signing any contract that involves smart technology.

“As a parent of two boys, I am a big proponent of keeping our kids safe on the road. While many of the features of smart cars include great safety devices that allow parents to know where their teenagers are, provide roadside assistance in a timely manner, or receive updates about potential road hazards, parents should be able to adequately protect the privacy of their children. That’s your information and no should have a right to it, but you. I encourage Floridians to follow these tips and educate yourself on what your car may be tracking, how to limit the collection of that information, and to read the fine print to provide yourself with the opportunity to op-out of information collection and protect your privacy.”

Tips to Protect Your Privacy:

  • Do your research. Read the privacy disclosures on the carmaker’s website for provisions about what information the company collects and with which types of groups it may share it, such as marketers. police and insurers. Also, visit Mozilla’s information on vehicle makers’ data-collection practices.
  • Read the fine print. Take the time to read the fine print of the sales documents before signing them.
  • Opt-out. Ask the dealer whether you can opt out of any of the data collection by the car and the carmaker’s app.
  • Don’t sync your hand-held device with the vehicle. Don’t allow your car’s dashboard entertainment system to sync with your phone or otherwise download its information. Syncing can mean your texts, calendar entries, phone call logs, address book and other information could be stored in the car’s memory and possibly accessible to the carmaker and other outsiders.


About CFO Jimmy Patronis  
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and X (@FLDFS).

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