When a driver takes delivery of a new car, the relationship with the manufacturer is only getting started. Not only might that consumer return to the dealership for repairs, but that consumer, perhaps unknowingly, is serving as a rolling laboratory for the vehicle maker. That's because data generated by the car flows to the manufacturer, which accumulates the information and analyzes it, using those findings to improve future models.

The data flow from connected cars might serve to make vehicles safer and more efficient, or eventually enable better marketing, but all those web connections present juicy opportunities for criminals, according to Phil Yannella, an attorney at Ballard Spahr who focuses on privacy and data security, in a blog and podcast earlier this year.

"The development of autonomous driving vehicles will likely increase the risk of hacking," he said. "These cars will have multiple connection points. There will be connections between the Computer Area Network, which is kind of the brains of the car, as well as its component parts — its brakes, the drive train, etc. There will be connections between the car and the manufacturer. There will be connections between the car and other autonomous vehicles on the road, as well as any wired public infrastructure."

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