[Fox Business] Biden administration to review national security, privacy and remote sabotage risks from Chinese ‘smart cars’

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The Biden administration has announced that it will launch a government probe into “smart cars” made in China that can gather data about Americans and even be disabled remotely. 

“The probe could lead to new regulations aimed at preventing China from using sophisticated technology in electric cars and other so-called connected vehicles to track drivers and their personal information,” AP News reported Thursday. “Officials are concerned that features such as driver assistance technology could be used to effectively spy on Americans.”

“China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including by using unfair practices,’’ Biden said Thursday. “China’s policies could flood our market with its vehicles, posing risks to our national security. I’m not going to let that happen on my watch.’’

CHEAP CHINESE EVS POSE A ‘SECURITY RISK’ TO AMERICANS: ‘KEEP THEM OUT,’ ECONOMIST WARNS

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that smart cars “are like smartphones on wheels,” also warning that Chinese smart cars bring national security and privacy concerns for millions of Americans, AP reported. 

“These vehicles are connected to the internet,” Raimondo said Wednesday. “They collect huge amounts of sensitive data on the drivers — personal information, biometric information, where the car goes.” 

“So it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out how a foreign adversary like China, with access to this sort of information at scale, could pose a serious risk to our national security and the privacy of U.S. citizens,” she continued. 

Raimondo claimed that the risk of Chinese-made vehicles being turned off remotely could be massive and sudden risk to Americans.

“Imagine if there were thousands or hundreds of thousands of Chinese-connected vehicles on American roads that could be immediately and simultaneously disabled by somebody in Beijing,’’ she said. “So it’s scary to contemplate the cyber risks, espionage risks that these pose.’’

JOSH HAWLEY IS INTRODUCING ON WEDNESDAY LEGISLATION TO HIKE TARIFFS ON CHINESE VEHICLE IMPORTS

Some U.S. automakers are arguing that Chinese car companies should be taken seriously and that they will be successful internationally if they are not kept out by tariffs or other means. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Chinese automakers were the “most competitive” and “will have significant success outside of China, depending on what kind of tariffs or trade barriers are established.

“If there are no trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world,” he told investors on a post-earnings call last month. “They’re extremely good.”

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Fox Business’ Madeline Coggins contributed to this report.

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