Senator Ed Markey is trying to determine the extent to which modern cars are vulnerable to attacks by hackers.
Imagine someone setting off an airbag in a car by tricking the sensors into believing it had come to a sudden stop. Or driving a car into oncoming traffic. Or just stealing location data.
“I write to request information regarding your company’s protections against the threat of cyberattacks or unwarranted invasions of privacy related to the integration of wireless, navigation and other technologies into and with automobiles,” wrote Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass, in a letter to Daniel Akerson, CEO of General Motors, earlier in December. Markey sent similar letters to 19 other major car manufacturers, asking about the defenses car electronics contain against these intrusions.