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Is Your Connected Car Part of a Government Conspiracy?

Toyota and Ford both recently assumed a very public stance against using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies in their vehicles. Instead, the automakers are dabbling in the field of connected technology by creating their own smartphone to vehicle interface. Their bold and unpopular position on this hot topic is causing quite a stir in the industry as every other automotive brand has chosen to embrace both Android and Apple as a part of their lineup.

Aside from stirring up a bit of controversy, Ford and Toyota’s steadfast resolve to create their own smartphone connectivity technology may not be as catastrophic as the rest of the industry hopes.

WikiLeaks is Leaking Major Conspiracy Theories About Your Car

WikiLeaks is one of those news headlines that no one really knows what to do with. The brazen and unapologetic leader of the rebel cause, which claims to be a “not-for-profit media organization,” has been disseminating top secret government docs since 2006. Aimed at politicians, the United States government, and the mainstream media – WikiLeaks is a major source of unrest here in the United States.

In the most recent dissemination of “top-secret” documents released by WikiLeaks, it seems that automakers and software companies are one of the newest targets. These documents outline a “mission” put forth by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) against connected vehicle technology. As more advanced technology is integrated into mainstream vehicles, the opportunity for hackers to infiltrate your car’s system becomes more likely. If this sounds like a completely far-fetched conspiracy theory to you, consider the fact that these types of “infiltrations” have already taken place on a few different occasions. Researchers hacked into a Jeep Cherokee back in 2015, demonstrating how simple it was to turn off the SUV’s engine from a remote location. In September of 2016, Chinese cyber security researchers conducted a similar experiment in which they were able to hack into a Tesla Model S, popping its trunk and tapping its brakes.

While these two particular cases of infiltrating a connected car’s system were done by cyber security researchers, it demonstrates how easy it would be for people with less-than-ethical intentions to do the same, and worse.

Will Car Shoppers Take Heed?

WikiLeaks is not a news source that every American takes seriously. With a “leader” stowed away in secrecy as he eludes criminal charges, who can blame the skeptics? Of course, the government isn’t going to confirm the accuracy of documents that put it in a bad light either.

WikiLeaks’ most recent leaked documents aside, car hacking is something that we will have to eventually deal with. Lawmakers are working with car manufacturers on finding ways to close potential openings for hackers, but there are currently no laws in place to protect car owners.

That leaves me with one burning question – will car shoppers take heed and avoid vehicles with connectivity technology? As someone who is planning to make a new car purchase at a Toyota dealership in the coming week, I can say with complete unashamed certainty that I will not avoid this tech, but instead seek it out with diligence and resolve. What will you do?

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