Rental car or loaner flash drive? FTC warns rental cars store user data

It is possible that a rental car may be storing user data such as locations entered in the GPS or visited while using the car.
It is possible that a rental car may be storing user data such as locations entered in the GPS or visited while using the car.

The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to be careful when using the infotainment systems of rental cars.

It is possible that the car may be storing user data such as locations entered in the GPS or visited while using the car, FTC Attorney Lisa Weintraub Schifferle said in an August 30 blog post.

If the user connects a personal device, even just for charging, it is possible that the device could automatically share contact information, mobile numbers, message logs, and even text messages, Schifferle said in the post.

Users are recommended to use a cigarette lighter adapter to charge devices instead of USB ports in the vehicle. A user who must connect a device should check their permission settings to ensure unnecessary data isn't shared and to delete all of their data from the system prior to returning the car.

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