FTC Warns Of Rental Cars Taking Personal Info. From Phones

Posted at 6:24 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 19:47:45-04

The Federal Trade Commission has warned drivers about protecting your personal information while in a rental car.

Most rental vehicles are newer models with the latest technology - Bluetooth, GPS navigation, streaming music, hands-free calling and texting and web browsing.

If drivers use those features, their personal information can stay with the car long after you turn it back in.

During that connection, the car's system may transfer and store your personal information.

If drivers use GPS navigation, it can keep all of the locations visited or entered which can reveal home or work addresses.

With hands-free texting or calling, the car may keep phone numbers, call and message logs, and even contacts, and text messages.

Other people, like the next person who rents the car, employees at the rental car company, or even hackers could then that person's information.

Therefore, the FTC advised drivers to not plug your phone into the infotainment system to charge it. Sometimes that USB connection may transfer your data automatically. Instead, use one of those chargers you stick in the cigarette lighter.

If the connection is made, and the infotainment system asks for access, only give it to the specific areas you think are necessary.

They said before returning the car, to delete all of your data from the system. That can be done by going to the settings menu, find your device and follow the prompts.

If you have trouble figuring out how to delete your information, the rental car company or the owner's manual should be able to help.