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Sens. Edward Markey, Richard Blumenthal Ask Automakers for Info on Cyber Measures

cybersecuritySens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) have asked the CEOs of 18 automakers through a letter to provide updated information on measures their companies have implemented in order to protect automobiles’ electronics systems from potential cyber attacks.

The request for information is in line with the investigation Markey started in 2013 into the automakers’ efforts to safeguard the privacy and security of their clients, Markey’s office said Wednesday.

“As vehicles become increasingly connected to the Internet and to one another through advanced features and services, we continue to see how these technologies present vulnerabilities that can compromise the safety and privacy of drivers and passengers,” Markey and Blumenthal wrote.

“We have specifically learned how third parties can access the electronic controls and data of vehicles from many different entry points, including wireless connections.”

Both members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation also requested reports on any developments automakers made to their fleet since their initial response to Markey’s letter in 2013.

Companies that received the letters are:

  • Aston Martin
  • BMW North America
  • Fiat Chrysler
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • General Motors
  • American Honda Motor Co.
  • Hyundai Motors North America
  • Jaguar Land Rover North America
  • Lamborghini
  • Mazda North America
  • Mercedes Benz USA
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan North America
  • Porsche
  • Subaru Motors America
  • Tesla
  • Toyota North America
  • Volkswagen Group of America with Audi
  • Volvo

Responses to the inquiry are due Oct. 16, according to the letter.

Blumental and Markey also proposed a bill that would require the Federal Trade Commission and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration to craft standards intended to secure drivers’ privacy and protect cars from cyber threats.

The Security and Privacy in Your Car Act also aims to create a cyber rating system that will work to gauge a vehicle’s capability to secure vehicle users’ privacy.

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