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Private Eye: IGEN patents algorithm to monitor driver behaviour, privacy concerns raised

California, United States – IGEN Networks Corporation has patented a “Real-Time Driver Telematic Signatures,” a system to gather data and rate the driving patterns of piloted and autonomous vehicles.

Registered with the United States Patent Office as patent number 17/850,258, IGEN promises to “expand the dataset of ‘Big Data’ to include…weather conditions, population density and vehicle condition.” It further claims to allow for “programmable weighting of driving events such as speed, sudden-braking, harsh turns, traffic flow, and vehicle profiling.”

From a right-to-repair standpoint, this system collects data that can be used by OEM repairers or smaller shops alike. However, the fact that the software aims to “derive a unique signature or score for…driving patterns” strongly suggests this system is being geared towards larger entities like OEMs and insurers, rather than smaller repair shops or drivers.

From a consumer standpoint, this patent does not disclose who owns this data, whether driver consent is required, or how much personally identifiable information is being collected.

“Our algorithms will normalize the multitude of driving data and eliminate gross errors to derive a unique signature or score for the driving patterns and habits of a driver or an autonomously driven vehicle,” said Neil Chan, CEO of IGEN Networks.

Similar driver analytics systems have been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union as a privacy concern that worsens non-consensual data collection by OEMs.

 

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