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Google defends Android Auto's data collection after critical Motor Trend report

Google only uses data for safety and user experience reasons, it says

A day after a report in Motor Trend sparked fears about the data collected by Android Auto software, Google pushed back, saying the report got key details wrong. "We take privacy very seriously and do not collect the data the Motor Trend article claims such as throttle position, oil temp, and coolant temp," Google said in a statement to The Verge. "Users opt in to share information with Android Auto that improves their experience, so the system can be hands-free when in drive, and provide more accurate navigation through the car's GPS."

That contradicts the Motor Trend report, which said concerns about Google's data collection led Porsche to choose Apple's CarPlay as the infotainment system in its 911 Carrera and 911 Carrerra S. Google did not rebut that claim directly, but notably, Porsche parent company Volkswagen does install Android Auto in some of its vehicles. Google says it collects data only when it enhances driver safety or enables an important user experience, such as using GPS for mapping. It's also the case that Android Auto uses the same opt-in model for data sharing as Android phones — users grant the permissions they are comfortable with when they first set up their new vehicle.

So why did Porsche choose CarPlay? The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge. We've also reached out to the author of the Motor Trend article and will update this article if he responds.