Senate approves Wieckowski bill covering data collected from in-vehicle cameras

SB 346 prohibits video from being sold or used for advertising

May 26, 2021

SACRAMENTO –  With strong bipartisan support, the state Senate today passed a bill by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to prohibit data collected from in-vehicle cameras from being sold to third parties or used for advertising purposes. The bill, SB 346, also requires that consumers be notified at the time of purchase that a camera is installed inside the vehicle.

As more cars become equipped with in-vehicle cameras capable of recording the interior of the vehicle cabin and the actions of the driver, consumers face another threat to their privacy.

“We spend a great deal of time inside our car,” Senator Wieckowski said. “What we do while driving to work, going to the store or picking up our children, reveals a great deal about who we are and our daily habits. This is extremely valuable information that some estimate will be worth over $750 billion by 2030. SB 346 will address the potential erosion of privacy at its root before it can grow out of control.  I’m pleased to see the strong show of bipartisanship on this important privacy issue.”

The use of in-vehicle cameras to record sensitive data allows private companies to build composites of consumers’ habits and likes that can be used for targeted advertising. Companies such as BMW, Hyundai and Cadillac are among those with in-vehicle cameras installed in their models.

"The Consumer Federation of California appreciates the Senate for standing with consumers in a such a strong bipartisan way by voting to protect driver and passenger privacy,” said Robert Herrell, the CFC’s executive director. “SB 346 will ensure that people can use and enjoy their cars without the threat of having private recordings of them and their families sold or distributed. Your in-vehicle video should not be monetized by companies in their endless pursuit of more profit centers. As the use of in-vehicle cameras rapidly grows, SB 346 will stand as an important framework for consumer protections in this space."

In addition to the Consumer Federation of California, SB 346 is supported by Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, Consumer Attorneys of California, Consumer Watchdog and Oakland Privacy.

SB 346 now heads to the state Assembly.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District, which includes southern Alameda County and northeast Santa Clara County.