Google’s driverless car is leading the way to a future of vehicles that use radar sensors and video cameras to keep vehicles moving along the road with little input from the driver. As some worry that current laws do not encompass the technology, the State of Nevada recently gave Google the world’s first license for a computer-controlled, driverless Toyota Prius. But not everyone is entirely comfortable with the new technology—Consumer Watchdog recently told the California Assembly’s Transportation Committee that Google’s driverless cars should not be allowed on the road without strong privacy protection.

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The California committee recently held a hearing earlier this week on SB 1298—the bill that would allow self-driven cars such as those being developed by Google—on the state’s highways. John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director feels that simply listing the data the cars will collect does not provide enough sufficient protection.

“SB 1298 must be amended to provide that driverless cars gather only the data necessary to operate the vehicle and retain that data only as long as necessary for their operation. It should not be used for any additional purpose such as marketing or advertising without the consumer’s explicit opt-in consent.”

Consumer Watchdog supports driverless car technology and predicts it will be commonplace sooner than many of us expect,” wrote Simpson. “However, it must not be allowed to become yet another way to track us in our daily lives.”

Google is not the alone in the development of driver-less cars. Ford just announced that it is developing new Traffic Jam Assist technology that uses most of the technology that is already on a number of Ford models. Ford feels that the new technology will not only reduce driver fatigue, but it will reduce traffic congestion, leading to less time on the road and millions of gallons of fuel saved per year.

Via PR Newswire