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Post Time- 11:24 AM Post By - admin

MA Protecting Your Data

Massachusetts Connected Cars – How the State Wants to Protect Your Data

As vehicles become more connected both from an entertainment and a performance perspective, your privacy and the data you share become more of a concern.  Two states, Massachusetts and California, continue to mount opposition in the respective legislatures over the data that Internet-connected cars can produce and process.

In Massachusetts, the focus is on a proposed amendment to a state “right to repair” law and differences over data access between automakers and aftermarket providers.

In California, the new privacy law is not specific to automaker vs. aftermarket but rather how automakers must collect and handle the vehicle data.

Keep reading to learn more about this important issue and what Massachusetts is doing to protect its residents.


The privacy law in California has been on the books since 2018 but the state is still developing rules for enforcement.  The office of Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General, has until July 1, 2020 to adopt the regulations.  “Consumers have a right to request that their data be deleted.  Consumers have a right to opt out of the sale or sharing of their personal information.  And businesses are prohibited from selling personal information of consumers under the age of 16 without explicit consent.”

The State Legislature approved amendments that are specific to automakers and dealers.  The main amendment allows automakers and dealers to keep and share vehicle data exclusively for purposes of a warranty or a recall-related repair.  In this situation, the data can be retained even against the wishes of the consumer as long as the data isn’t sold against the consumer’s wishes.  Groups supporting the auto industry fought hard to maintain the warranty exception.


Massachusetts enacted a “right to repair” law in 2013.  The law mandates that vehicle owners and independent repair facilities in the state have access to the same diagnostic and repair information that automakers make available to their dealerships and certified repair facilities.  President of the Auto Care Association, Bill Hanvey, feels the law does not allow for sufficient access to vehicle telematics data that aftermarket providers insist they need in order to complete safe repairs to high-tech components.  There are industry groups on both sides of the issue in Massachusetts.

It is easy for consumers to be blinded by the convenience and uniqueness of new features and capabilities on today’s new and technologically advanced vehicles. These “shiny squirrels” can divert our attention away from larger, more significant issues, such as data privacy.  The Massachusetts legislature has the best interests and privacy in mind for residents and vehicle owners within the state.

The pros at Shepard’s Automotive Center value customer relationships and we seek to be your one-stop-shop for mechanical and collision repair.  We invite you to contact us online or call 978-465-5973, Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.  Regardless of your repair, we will be happy to work with you to map out a plan that fits your budget and solves your problems.

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