Expert warns Chinese EVs could secretly monitor, collect data on American drivers

Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) could potentially spy on Americans, handing over drivers’ data to the communist government.

“Automotive expert Mike Caudill says American drivers ought to ‘absolutely be concerned’ about whether the new digital technology used in electric vehicles and some gas-powered cars is collecting their data and giving it to questionable actors like the Chinese communist government,” Fox Business reported.

“The transportation expert and entrepreneur spoke to Fox News Digital recently about the rise of EVs and how technology utilized in their onboard instruments could be used to spy on Americans, and whether corporations or foreign governments have more access to Americans’ vehicles than they’re aware of,” the media outlet noted.

As Chinese EV companies take the lead in the global market, concern is growing that unknown data breaches in electric cars could become prevalent giving our biggest enemy, China, even more leverage on Americans and our country.

(Video Credit: Fox News Digital)

“Chinese company BYD has overtaken Tesla as the largest EV company in the world this year, and some experts are worried that when Americans start buying these vehicles the Chinese manufacturers would be able to monitor them from overseas,” Fox Business noted.

That is not a far-fetched idea. The Chinese are using many things to spy on Americans. They even use cranes in shipyards to conduct clandestine data collection, according to CNN. And, of course, there is TikTok which is undoubtedly collecting data on users.

Caudill draws parallels between smartphone data being collected to what will happen in EVs.

“You’ve got your smartphone. Smartphones are now being integrated into vehicles. And so the problematic nature of that is the data,” he asserted. “And the content is being shared between your phone and the vehicle itself. And obviously, when you’re talking about electric vehicles, they’re even more high-tech. They require more data. They require more communication.”

(Video Credit: CNBC)

The Chinese will almost certainly use the opportunity to spy on Americans according to Caudill, “82% of the supply chain in the EV market comes from China. So, as we think about how our vehicles are being integrated with these various pieces of technology, we have to obviously be concerned about what data is being shared with those devices, specifically the ones that are coming from China.”

If the Chinese will use car data to keep tabs on its own citizens, it stands to reason they will use it to spy on Americans.

“And the question is, who’s receiving that data? Is it the CCP? Is that the government?” Caudill enquired.

“The Heritage Foundation Director of the Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment Diana Furchtgott-Roth penned a column for Fox News digital in February arguing that America should ban Chinese-made electric vehicles for multiple reasons, one of them being the risk of these cars spying on American citizens,” Fox Business wrote.

“Chinese EVs could be equipped with even more powerful spying equipment. They could go anywhere, including military bases, power plants, and cellphone towers. EVs would be far more effective than spy balloons at collecting important data, and at far lower cost – because Americans would be purchasing these vehicles. For similar security reasons the Federal Communications Commission banned Huawei and ZTE technology in 2022,” Furchtgott-Roth contended.

“The Chinese Communist Party controls all major Chinese companies, and America should not join the global rush to give the CCP power over a vital economic sector. Indeed, America should ban the sale of Chinese EVs—both those made in China and those made in other countries such as Mexico,” she also declared.

Chinese technology is also present in some gas-powered cars that are outfitted with parts or features from China.

The Chinese have a myriad of ways of collecting data through technology.

“But what we are facing is the fact that all of our American vehicles that have this new modern technology in it, the data and the technology in those vehicles is still coming from companies that are based in China,” Caudill warned.

“So your big infotainment screen that you have on a vehicle, it’s not all manufactured right here in the US. Some of those parts and products are coming from companies based in China,” he pointed out. “You have a widget, a sensor that comes from x company. That company can be based in China. And inside that widget, it can be using a certain type of way to capture data. And that data can be shared – whether it’s with the automaker, or it’s with the company that’s actually providing that product in a vehicle.”

“So it’s not exclusive to EVs. Data sharing is exclusive to any vehicle that has a high technology interface,” Caudill explained.

Integrating your smartphone and your car also opens up breaches of data on your phone.

“You know, if you think about a modern vehicle today, they have front crash avoidance, rear pedestrian detection signs, lane departure warning. These are all sensors and cameras that are watching around the vehicle. We don’t know what other systems are or are not tapping into those systems to capture data,” the auto expert stated. “So if I think about a vehicle coming to the US from China, I would absolutely be concerned.”

He is calling for “government oversight” on automotive tech to stop the Chinese from data collection. Caudill is also advising Americans to protect themselves in case the U.S. government won’t do it.

“And I wouldn’t take my government at what their word is that they’re protecting us. You have to take it into your own hands to protect yourself,” he urged.

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