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Google denies Android Auto data collection claims following harsh Motor Trend report

Denying claims from Porsche in a recent Motor Trend report, Google says that it does not collect information such as throttle position, oil temp and coolant temp from its Android Auto head units.

Published onOctober 7, 2015

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If you happen to own an Android smartphone, tablet, or use pretty much any other type of Google product, it’s no secret that the Mountain View-based company is collecting your data. Some people are okay with this fact, others are not. And as it turns out, this is the main reason why Porsche decided to forgo Android Auto, Google’s connected car platform, for Apple’s CarPlay in its new 2017 Porsche 911.

First reported by Motor Trend, the American automobile magazine, Porsche said that it chose Apple’s CarPlay instead of Android Auto because Google would collect far too much information from its Android Auto head units for the car maker to feel comfortable. What kind of information? Motor Trend says:

Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs—basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto. Not kosher, says Porsche.

It’s obvious why Porsche wouldn’t want Google collecting all of this data. Part of this information is what makes Porsche’s cars so special, so the car maker doesn’t feel comfortable handing it over to Google without question. According to Google, though, Porsche has it all wrong. In a recent statement, Google told The Verge:

We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp, and coolant temp. Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car’s GPS.
Volkswagen announces availability of Android Auto in most 2016 models

Whether we should believe Porsche or Google is unclear at the moment, but Google is probably telling the truth in this case. Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen, has plans to support Android Auto in most of its 2016 lineup. It wouldn’t really make sense for VW to be on-board with the new automobile tech while Porsche is so adamant about passing on it.

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