Automakers to Domestically Store Vehicle Data of Drivers in China

Trefor Moss, Wall Street Journal:

Tesla Inc. said all data generated from cars it sold in China will be stored in a new data center there.


In recent weeks, China has released a flurry of draft rules related to automotive data. Among them were the Cyberspace Administration of China’s draft rules that said auto makers should obtain their customers’ permission to collect personal data.

The rules, released this month, also said that data could only be sent overseas if the auto maker had passed a security assessment conducted by cybersecurity regulators.

Yilei Sun and Tony Munroe, Reuters:

BMW, Daimler and Ford have set up facilities in China to store data generated by their cars locally, they told Reuters, as automakers come under growing pressure in the world’s biggest car market over how they handle information from vehicles.


Nissan Motor and Stellantis said they would comply with rules in China but gave no further details.

Reuters contacted other major automakers and got a mixed response; only the ones listed above confirmed that they would comply. Stellantis owns Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati, the entire Chrysler family of brands, and Citroen/Peugeot.

I am surprised more countries are not following in these footsteps. You don’t have to assume nefarious intent in order to believe user data should be stored on servers located in the same country and under the same legal jurisdiction. But the countries where these policies are taking effect — China and Russia being the most notable — are largely governed by authoritarian regimes. Meanwhile, in many democratic countries, we seem to have an unwavering trust in American authorities.