California’s new privacy regulator is embarking on its first-ever enforcement action to review of the privacy practices of connected automobiles.


The California Privacy Protection Agency—created under a ballot initiative in 2020 and the only regulator in the nation solely dedicated to privacy issues—will examine the growing amalgamation of data collected by smart vehicles and whether the business practices of the companies collecting that data comply with state law.

“Modern vehicles are effectively connected computers on wheels. They’re able to collect a wealth of information via built in apps, sensors, and cameras, which can monitor people both inside and near the vehicle,” Ashkan Soltani, the agency’s executive director, said in a statement.

U.S. regulators’ scrutiny of the data lags behind such efforts in Europe, which has forced automakers to update software to limit the collection and protect the privacy of consumers.