US court rules car makers have right to record your calls and messages

Un tribunal américain déclare que les constructeurs automobiles ont le droit d'enregistrer vos appels et vos messages

In response to five class-action lawsuits filed in the United States, a Washington appeals court ruled that Honda and other automakers did not break the law by storing text messages and call logs from connected smartphones .

Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors were the subject of separate but related class action lawsuits for violating privacy laws. All of these actions were dismissed this year, and this week the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided not to reopen the cases for further litigation, according to the official statement.

The judges in the case grouped all the cases together because “the factual context and legal issues are virtually identical” and rejected the appeal not because the automakers were at fault, but because the complaints did not did not meet the harm requirements of the Washington State Privacy Act.

To succeed at the pleading stage of a Washington State Privacy Act complaint, the plaintiff must allege harm to “his or her business, personal or his reputation. Contrary to the plaintiffs' argument, a mere violation of privacy law is not enough to satisfy the statutory harm requirement.

In other words, it's okay for your car to “intercept, record, download, store, and may transmit” text messages and call logs automatically and without permission, because privacy violation is potential, but the harm is not necessarily real.