U.S. Probes Security Risks of Overseas Auto Parts

U.S. Probes Security Risks of Overseas Auto Parts

China in the Crosshairs Over Data Privacy

The Biden administration is investigating potential national security threats from foreign-made components in internet-connected vehicles. The probe especially targets Chinese smart car hardware and software amid fears data could be harvested for surveillance or infrastructure sabotage. Connected cars use networks for navigation, roadside assistance, and more. But officials warn China could exploit the links to track U.S. citizens or disable vehicles remotely.

Preventative Action Rather Than Immediate Crackdown

The Commerce Department inquiry could ultimately spur restrictions on using certain imported technology. But so far it only seeks public input to determine if new rules are necessary. “We need to protect ourselves,” said Secretary Gina Raimondo, noting connected vehicles pose risks. Still, no regulatory moves are underway yet. The auto sector probe marks the administration’s latest action addressing Chinese parts in sensitive U.S. systems, including recent efforts to replace Chinese-made port cranes.

High-Stakes Auto Tech Race With China

The investigation also reflects escalating U.S.-China competition in the auto sphere. Beijing itself has security concerns about data gathered by Tesla vehicles locally. The dueling unease over smart car vulnerabilities highlights how the two superpowers vie for any edge in strategic emerging industries. With electric and self-driving vehicles fast expanding, neither wants the other to dominate vehicle technology.

Aklimson Phangcho

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