But failure to wipe data from a car’s system before selling it risks inadvertently giving away personal information to any future owners, including contact numbers and addresses. A study by consumer rights group Which? of more than 14,000 motorists who had sold their vehicle in the past two years found that 54 percent linked their phone to their car.
A third said they took no action at all to remove any personal information.
And four out of five owners admitted that they did not follow instructions in the car manual to remove data and return the operating system to its factory settings before they sold it – despite this being the best way to wipe it clean.
The consumer group is concerned that motorists are not given enough details about what information is being collected when they sync their phones or download an app.
Which? magazine editor Harry Rose said: “If cars are not treated the same as a smartphone, tablet or other connected devices when it comes to data security, motorists risk giving away a treasure trove of information about themselves when they decide to sell their car. “Manufacturers must do much more to prioritise customers’ personal privacy.”