Safely connected Data security in connected driving

The flawless function of the assistance systems' operation requires the accurate collection and processing of data about the vehicle's surroundings and route. These data must be protected with the same urgency as we protect the passengers in our vehicles. This is all the more true for customer-related data

This is why Daimler accompanies new developments relating to the connected vehicle through to autonomous driving with corresponding measures and the highest standards for data protection and security. 'As a manufacturer of high-end vehicles, our company aspires to implementing the same high level of data security in its digital vehicle. We have to meet the increasing demands that our customers have in terms of communication and network capabilities in the vehicle and the high data security that many of our customers expect a Mercedes to have,' says Dr Joachim Riess, company representative for data security.

The company is investing in numerous data protection measures to ensure the highest level of security for both vehicle and customer. The following three legal data protection aspects must be met:

  • Transparency
  • Self-determination
  • Data security

The customer must know which data are being collected and what is done with them. Customers are extensively informed about data processing using different media.

In our sales information, the vehicle homepage, the operating manuals as well as in our terms of use our customers get all the information they need in order to decide, which data they want to share and which one not.

Customers decide themselves which services they actually wish to use and which data they wish to disclose - by agreeing, signing a contract or pressing a button.

The expectations of our customers in terms of safety are the same referring to data security in networked vehicles. Daimler protects the data of its customers from manipulation as well as misuse. Along with the progress of information technology we continue to develop our data security technologies.

To ensure that the information on customers and their vehicles cannot be accessed or manipulated by an external party, corporate data protection works closely with information security and development. The newest technology developments must be incorporated in the vehicle's data processing processes. This is as much part of the brand commitment as the vehicle's safety requirements.

An example of this is the Daimler Vehicle Backend, a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection that regulates and monitors the connections to all internet services. It performs functions such as authorization and authentication; it also provides data protection and prevents the driver from being distracted by adapting the information from the internet to the driver. To protect the systems against external attacks, Daimler also employs specialists who are well versed in automotive IT security in the areas of encoding, domain segregation and interfaces between security-related functions in the vehicle.

These data protection requirements are taken into account already in the product development phase. According to the motto 'Privacy by Design', the corporate data protection and legal departments start talking to the Research & Development engineers at a very early stage in order to develop user-friendly data protection solutions.

The corporate data protection department regulates data protection at Daimler on a worldwide basis. It works towards achieving compliance with the applicable privacy laws as well as our internal standards. The judicious use of data is strictly regulated by Daimler's corporate data protection guidelines. These guidelines meet the requirements of the European data protection act and ensure compliance with national and international data protection legislation.

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