Modern cars and trucks have become data-gathering machines. Wittingly or not, vehicle owners readily cough up large amounts of information by linking their smartphones with vehicles' computer systems. Their favorite music, contacts and location data may be stored in a vehicle. Telematics systems and tracking devices can keep details on driving habits.
Consumer Reports has several suggestions as to what vehicle owners should do to prevent this data from traveling to a subsequent owner.
The publication noted that a first step is unpairing all connected devices. That puts an end to sharing contact info, music preferences and GPS mapping data.
If a universal application, such as HomeLink, is used for garage door openers, it should be reset. That should remove codes used to enter your home.
Telematics services such as Hyundai's Blue Link, FordPass and OnStar should be reset, which can be done by summoning the service's customer service representative. Some automakers store information in the cloud, so consumers should log out of these accounts. Any tracking devices, perhaps added by auto dealers, banks or insurance companies, should be removed.
The next owner of a car or truck might not pay any attention to what data was gathered by the previous owner, but there's no reason to give them — or anyone — the option to access it in the first place.