Cybersecurity Alert: FTC Issues Alert on Using Mobile Devices with Rental Vehicle Infotainment Systems

September 1, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an alert on the dangers of using personal mobile devices with "infotainment" systems in rental or loaner vehicles. When you connect your device to an infotainment system, your personal data may become accessible to others, including hackers. Infotainment systems can also be found in gyms, hotels, and airplanes.

The FTC recommends taking the following steps to protect your data if you choose to connect your mobile device to an infotainment system in a rental vehicle:

  • Avoid connecting your mobile device to the system via USB only for charging purposes. Instead, use the car's cigarette lighter to charge your device, as data may transfer automatically via a USB connection.
  • Check your mobile device's permissions and only grant access to necessary information.For example, you can allow the system to play music from your phone but not allow it to access your contacts.
  • Delete your data from the infotainment system when you are finished using it. Find the list of paired devices in the system's settings menu and delete your device from the list. Also do this if you’re selling or trading in a vehicle.

For more information, see https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/what-your-phone-telling-your-rental-car.

ACA Aponix Guidance

We recommend that your firm address the use of personal mobile devices with infotainment systems in your mobile and/or travel policies.

If you have any questions, please contact your ACA Aponix consultant or email us at info@acaaponix.com.