Your car knows a lot about you. Who owns that data?
TORONTO -- New cars are packed with technology keeping us safe and tracking our every move, but they're also transmitting data in real time back to car manufacturers.
Independent repair shops and companies that sell after market parts say that's giving dealerships an unfair advantage.
“We believe it's going to negatively impact the capacity of consumers to choose where and how they get their car serviced,” Jean-Francois Champagne, the president of Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA), said.
The association says there are 500,000 jobs in Canada related to the aftermarket auto parts and auto service market.
AIA has started a right to choose campaign along with a petition that says Canadians should have access and control of their car's data.
AIA is calling on the federal government to acknowledge the importance of vehicle data ownership. The group says independent shops will be effectively shut out from repairing newer cars without the proper data.
“If they don't have that information they can not safely and properly fix your car" said Champagne.
By next year, about 80 per cent of new vehicles will be using wireless technology to transmit data in real time back to the manufacturer.
Michael Rutherford with OK Tire said if only dealers have the information it will limit where consumers can get their cars repaired.
“Most of the public doesn't realize that so much information is being collected and sent back to the OEM (original equipment manufacturer)” said Rutherford.
Many car owners use the services of a dealership when a vehicle is new and under warranty, but the aftermarket industry says as a car gets older more consumers choose independent shops.
Rutherford said they want a level playing field when it comes to repairing vehicles.
“We firmly believe it's your vehicle and you should get to chose where that data goes. If you have a regular service provider that you trust that you've known for a long time and you want your data to go there that's where it should go" said Rutherford.
The aftermarket industry says if consumers have fewer choices it will lead to higher prices to get vehicles repaired.
The Privacy Act is currently under review by the federal government. Right to repair is not just an issue with cars, but also with phones, appliances and other items.
Advocates say consumers should have more options to repair products and not less.