BMW Refutes Mozilla's Privacy Survey Claims

BMW of North America issued a statement refuting allegations made by Mozilla Foundation in its recent “Privacy Not Included” survey.

The automaker says it takes data privacy and the data security of its customers “very seriously.” The survey published on Sept. 6 “includes several inaccuracies,” per BMW.

“We provide our customers with comprehensive data privacy notices regarding the collection of their personal information and allows vehicle drivers to make granular choices regarding the collection and processing of their personal information,” per the statement. “Further, we allow our customers to delete their data whether on their apps, vehicles or online. BMW NA does not sell our customer’s in-vehicle personal information and provides our customers the opportunity to opt out of BMW targeted behavioral advertising on the Internet.”



BMW was not alone in getting dinged by Mozilla Foundation. All 25 car brands Mozilla researched earned its “Privacy Not Included” warning label, which it says makes cars the official worst category of products for privacy that it has ever reviewed.

Mozilla Foundation has started a petition to ask car companies to stop collecting, sharing and selling personal information.

BMW’s statement asserts that its collection of data relates to BMW’s own marketing efforts, legal compliance obligations, law enforcement issues and related items.  

“Using commonly available web browser controls, BMW NA customers may opt out of data collection used to make inferences about drivers’ preferences and habits and to opt out of receiving marketing communications at any time,” per the automaker. 

The report expresses concerns over BMW sharing customer data within our “family of companies” and “with third party dealers, service providers, and business partners.” 

“BMW centralizes data collection and processing activities to create efficiencies and to better secure its systems,” per the automaker. “Additionally, BMW NA shares personal information with authorized dealers to better service our customers, and BMW NA customers choose which dealers they interact with.”

Much like any other company in the world, BMW NA uses service providers to accomplish certain tasks. 

“For example, we may use an email service provider to send emails or use advertising companies to advertise,” per the statement. “These providers are contractually obligated to keep confidential any information BMW provides to them. They are also not permitted to use that information for their own purposes. Finally, we only share personal information with business partners when our customers request that we do so.”

Regarding Mozilla’s comment that states: “we can't quite tell if they share (or sell) all that data with other third parties for their advertising purposes as well,” BMW says “we would like to confirm that BMW NA’s privacy policy explicitly states that BMW NA does not sell its customers personal information, such as their names, addresses, driving habits, Vehicle Identification Numbers, or other information that is tied to the customers or their vehicles.”

Contrary to Mozilla’s report, BMW NA provides multiple avenues for every customer to completely delete their data, according to the automaker. The  complete statement from the automaker can be read online

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