Mercedes app was leaking car owners' data to other users

You could see names, phone numbers and more.

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Roberto Baldwin/Engadget
Roberto Baldwin/Engadget

Your car maker's mobile app can be very convenient, but it can also create privacy headaches in the wrong circumstances. Mercedes-Benz owners told TechCrunch that the car company's remote control app was supplying data from other users' accounts for at least a few hours on October 18th. You could see info from "several" accounts in at least one case, and it would include sensitive material like names, phone numbers and recent activity like locations.

Features like real-time location tracking and remote unlocks thankfully didn't work, but it was still serious -- you effectively had a window into the lives of other Mercedes owners. The firm hasn't commented on the report as of this writing.

Mercedes took the app offline for "site maintenance" a few hours after the problem began. Even so, this illustrates the risks that come with tying car data to personal accounts. An error like this, or a data breach, could easily broadcast sensitive info to the wrong people. That may become a sore point as car sharing and other connected car services become relatively commonplace.

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