Your car collects data all the time. Speed, braking, seat belt use are only part of the information recorded and stored in the event of an accident. Who owns that data and what it can be used for is a question that experts have debated.
The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation on Wednesday which would limit access to data to the vehicle owner or lessee, unless there is a court order. (Laws in Connecticut protect the data.)
From The Detroit News: “There is no limitation on what additional personal information could be tracked or recorded, an individual’s location or travel habits without consent. The proposal raised widespread questions and concerns regarding the ownership of the data,” the senators said in a statement unveiling the bill in October.
Data can still be retrieved without owner consent if authorized by a court of law or the information is retrieved pursuant to a NHTSA recall and all personally identifiable information is not disclosed. The information could also be used without consent for determining the need for emergency medical response following a motor vehicle crash (used in vehicles equipped with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification systems).