Google services in more Volvo models - and data protection?

Volvo is introducing Google services in more and more models. In Sweden people are therefore worried about data protection and ask the manufacturer. His answer is not necessarily convincing. What is clear, however, is that two different business ideas come together here. One collects data, the other sells mobility. The customer is not the laughing third party.

Google Android is moving into more and more Volvos
Google Android is moving into more and more Volvos

Volvo is renovating its infotainment systems. After the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, Google Android is also moving into the Volvo XC60, the Volvo S90, the V90 and the all-wheel drive version of the Volvo V90 Cross Country, replacing the Sensus system. A technical advance, the user receives access to applications such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Play Store, as well as unlimited data volume for the first 4 years after the initial registration.

Google delivers first class service

The advantages are obvious, because the Google services and maps are always up-to-date, the dynamic traffic routing with the best that is currently available on the market.

In addition, the new system is faster and more intuitive to use. So far, so good is what they think Vi biliar. And asks Volvo Cars about data protection. Because Google’s business model is essentially based on collecting data. This is not seen as a disadvantage at Volvo, because every user submits their data voluntarily and can also prevent this.

Then Google services would sometimes not work, but the user would continue to use the car. Volvo points out the advantages, such as the always up-to-date maps and that the customer has a considerable benefit through the Google services. Google would also not display any advertising on the Android system, although this would be technically possible.

We deliver perfect movement profiles

Volvo is not alone in choosing Google Applications. The Stellantis Group, which emerged from PSA and FCA, also relies on Android-based services. The cooperation is tempting for the manufacturer. He uses a proven system and accesses the best map material on the planet and the most powerful server structure.

It is not that easy for the user. It is the question of how much you want to reveal about yourself that the customer has to answer for himself. The reality is that you can deliver a perfect movement profile to Google in conjunction with a smartphone and car. If you want something different, you have to do without modern vehicles. Or the advantages of digitization.

Most of the Google servers are located in the USA and are not subject to European law. Data protection is handled more laxly in the USA, you have to know that. Maybe you can live with it, disclosing data to Google has long been a reality, hardly anyone thinks about it.

The topic will be more explosive in the future. Then when instead of Google, a Chinese Internet giant is a permanent guest in the car. What is not a vision, but is within reach. Chinese companies pay little attention to data protection, and the situation is such that even the administration in Beijing is going too far.

At the beginning of the year, this called on companies to finally step up their precautions and no longer deal with user data so loosely.

The discussion in Sweden is therefore a general one. A topic whose explosiveness has not yet reached many people's minds, but which will stay with us for a long time to come.

15 thoughts on "Google services in more Volvo models - and data protection?"

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    If everything continues to do its job well even without follow-up contracts, you are fine ...

    But the industry's path seems to be different to me. In addition to service and telecommunications contracts, one also strives for obsolescence. The industry is in massive upheaval. The goal is to have a new car every few years.

    In the past, Volvo just proclaimed the opposite and claimed it for itself. Everyone has to know for themselves whether, how far and at what price they want to follow the new policy ...

    It scares me off personally.

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    @volvaab Driver
    That would be annoying indeed. Then a contract would have to be presented to me at the beginning, which indicates or informs me that the contract will be extended automatically if I do not cancel before the time expires. I have these services with my car free of charge for 12 months and have to take action myself if I want to continue using these online services. I think that's absolutely fine with me.

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    @ Gosh,

    A key point in the article is: "(...) an unlimited data volume for the first 4 years after the initial registration."

    Perhaps the car does not take out any paid contracts and doesn't have to? But maybe the buyer himself concludes a paid contract that he does not even know? At least if he wants to use the car and infotainment for more than 4 years. It could be and it would be annoying, I think ..

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    Maybe I don't see the implications of this, but the data that is saved is already in / with my cell phone today. saved. As long as the car doesn't sign any paid contracts for me, I don't care.

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    @SchwarzerSchwede: yes, you are right. I have let myself be led astray.
    @VolvaabDriver: don't take it so personally.

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    @ Chris,

    If the connection between electricity demand (growing), data flow (growing) and the Internet has not yet been discovered, I don't know how to help ...

    Perhaps you will read up on the subject and find out how high the share of the Internet in global electricity demand is today and what its growth curve looks like?

    The connected refrigerator and the connected car have something in common. Be it that the networking generates (user) data of economic interest or that an energy-intensive infrastructure is a prerequisite. Or that both types of networking can and may be seen as superfluous because the added value is not available or seems too expensive (at the expense of data protection and the environment).

    We all already have a smartphone. Even more, we already have our fourth or fifth and experience with their obsolescence.

    I can't help it that it is so. And it is by no means the specific perception of a Saab driver or Saab blog reader.

    Environment, data protection and flow are topics of general interest to society and of universal validity. Criticism of mobile smartphones and the topic of smarthome is universal, is shared and expressed in a variety of ways regardless of this blog and regardless of vehicle brands. If you don't listen to it and just want to feel good about every development - no matter how questionable it may be - you should perhaps limit your reading to the websites and brochures of the manufacturers and yourself to studying the promises of salvation written by advertising agencies?

    Good question, who really locks themselves in a comfort zone and echo chamber, puts on an aluminum hat and armed with a fly swatter. Are these really the people who deal with pressing questions and torment themselves with finding no satisfaction in answers from politics and business?
    Or is it the people who no longer want to hear all this, can no longer hear it?

    I think the AW is obvious.

    And I think it's pretty silly to project one's own need for promises of salvation onto Saab drivers, as happened in the comment from you-know-already.

    Nobody here has ever said that Saab & its customers would have brought national governments, the EU and a global market to their knees and created a better world if Saab still existed in 2021. But that is exactly what this commentary suggests.

    And do you find that plausible & understandable, good & correct, fully applicable?

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    @Chris Well, the Volvaab Driver likes to overshot the mark. You just have to let it stand, as you accept all other opinions here. Sometimes I just ignore him and it's good.

    There is no Saab community anyway. You have seen how Tom could go begging (unsuccessfully) every year.

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    It is very interesting that a commenter who usually gives his opinion on every topic here in the blog in sometimes completely confusing, erratic to sometimes incoherent texts (what e.g. the refrigerator power consumption, power generation, etc. with data protection in the new Volvo infotainment systems has to do not understand me), is angry when another commentator writes a critical but quite understandable and to the point statement appropriate to the article (VolvaabDriver vs. Saab 900 turbo 16 S).

    That is one of the reasons why for me the blog has not been a community for a long time, but only a small platform for two opinions that is confirmed by three commentators who are always the same. Too bad.

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    @Saab 900 Turbo 16 S.
    ... the SAAB 9-5NG has had a tire pressure monitoring system for 10 years, at least mine ...

    Gradually read at Heise that there is also open source for vehicle infotaintment, but there is probably a lot missing up to the status of Google and Apple, but would be the desired third provider.

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    @ Saab 900 Turbo 16 S.

    great comment. So apt, so sarcastic and so lively that ...

    ... you have to watch out whether the door you are running into is not wide open or at least is ajar. So much momentum? Don't stumble.

    There is a lot of reproach. Who exactly and why?

    I've read several critical comments and articles here. Most of the people seem to be aware that Saab could not or could not play according to its own rules neither economically nor politically ever before and today.
    Which blogger, guest author or comment gives you the reason to put aluminum hats on makers and readers and to assume unworldly lines of thought?

    Or did I misunderstand the content and intention of your comment?

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    Hmm, very exciting topic started by Tom. With the cooperation with Google, Volvo gives the movement data to third parties. That saves an enormous amount of your own infrastructure. But is that also smart for Volvo in the medium term? Other (larger) manufacturers cook their own soup. That could be the better way in the long term. Because movement data is the new gold.

    As a customer, I would at least have a better feeling about it. In general, however, we cannot escape this topic. After all, with the iPhone, the data is with Apple and the data protection rules are demonstrably strict. So I prefer to navigate with the Apple part, like @bergsaab does.

    And yes, I wouldn't necessarily have liked Android in the (new, never produced) Saab.

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    Anyone who uses the mobile Internet more or less 24 hours a day and at the same time reflexively swings the data protection mace doesn't seem to be reflected on me. Anyone who also regularly "voluntarily" leaves traces on social networks but does not want to take part in video conferences for reasons of data protection, for example, is just silly in my eyes, which is underlined by the clearly visible aluminum helmet on their head.
    But Saab would of course not offer these bells and whistles if the brand still existed in 2021 (of course Saab would also distance itself from the SUV wave and reject the subsidized e-mobility: One would be much more focused on the second revision of the 9th 5 NG and the introduction of the tire pressure monitoring system after the EU refused to extend the exemption).
    Should Saab, for whatever reason, have jumped on the bandwagon alongside the many others, the many regular customers would certainly force the company back onto the analogue path of the truest truth - very individually and autonomously.

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    ... in why I still drive SAAB, I wrote to Tom:
    because I am not missing anything in a SAAB with an iPhone as a navigation system

    admittedly, Google is often more accurate or more up-to-date, admittedly, iPhone is exclusive, admittedly, still driving SAAB is exclusive, and admittedly, SAAB would also have relied on Android with its planned system.

    It is a development that does not make me happy if data were used anonymously would be much better, but together with planned access to email data in the event of low suspicions by the authorities, the movement profile is a step towards the transparent citizen. Developments in less democratic countries make me afraid….
    It would be nice if Applecar were also available, or a third system as well, there is not much competition here. .., we seem like in the GDR vegetable shop ... I would like bananas but apart from sauerkraut there was nothing available

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    Data protection …

    is also increasingly synonymous with environmental protection. In his inimitably elegant spelling, Tom casually but consciously and explicitly incorporated the growing power requirements of the stationary and mobile Internet into at least one article here.

    Data flow and power demand can be converted directly to one another. When I bought my last fridge, I was toying with an Italian design object in a retro style. It became a bore in stainless steel of a German brand, because there was a + more behind the A ...

    When I made the purchase decision, I didn't know that every smartphone (via infrastructure) consumes as much energy as an average refrigerator.

    One “smart” refrigerator uses as much electricity as two stupid ones. WOW, that's really smart ...

    And a smart car uses as much energy as a stupid and a stupid refrigerator put together. Pretty smart too ...

    To squint at a second or third + after an A under such conditions was probably not that smart of me. I should have preferred the better design. Why not? There is obviously unlimited electricity and it is CO2-neutral. Or not, because why would we ban lightbulbs, label refrigerators and reduce the performance of vacuum cleaners? Well what now? I no longer get through ...

    But sometimes less is more. Less data flow even more environmental protection. I think I understood that much.

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    I am glad that there are still cars without versatile electronics.

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