Jun 132011
 
 June 13, 2011  Business, Surveillance

Dan Goodin reports:

Electric cars manufactured by Nissan surreptitiously leak detailed information about a driver’s location, speed and destination to websites accessed through the vehicle’s built in RSS reader, a security blogger has found.

The Nissan Leaf is a 100-percent electric car that Nissan introduced seven months ago. Among its many innovations is a GSM cellular connection that lets drivers share a variety of real-time data about the car, including its location, driving history, power consumption, and battery reserves. Carwings, as the service is known, then provides a number of services designed to support “eco-driving,” such as break downs of the vehicle’s energy efficiency based on comparisons with other owners.

But according to Seattle-based blogger Casey Halverson, Carwings includes the detailed data in all web requests the Nissan Leaf sends to third-party servers that the driver has subscribed to through RSS, or real simple syndication. Each time the driver accesses a given RSS feed, the car’s precise geographic coordinates, speed, and direction are sent in clear text. The data will also include the driver’s destination if it’s programmed in to the Leaf’s navigation system, as well as data available from the car’s climate control settings.

Read more in The Register.

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