Last year as part of a Motherboard investigation, experts said Otonomo could face legal issues. Now the company is facing a class action lawsuit.
Otonomo says it has systems in place that protect peoples’ privacy. But in June last year, Motherboard published an investigation based on a set of Otonomo data and used the information to find where people likely lived, worked, and where else they drove. At the time, experts said that Otonomo could face legal consequences because of how it handles consent and its data. The new lawsuit focuses specifically on those issues.
The plaintiff in the case is Saman Mollaei, a citizen of California. The lawsuit does not explain how it came to the conclusion that Otonomo is tracking tens of thousands of people in California. Otonomo originally started in Israel and has an office in California.
Mollaei drives a 2020 BMW X3, and when the vehicle was delivered to him, it contained an electronic device that allowed Otonomo to track its real-time location, according to the lawsuit. Importantly, the lawsuit alleges that Mollaei did not provide consent for this tracking, adding that “At no time did Otonomo receive—or even seek—Plaintiff's consent to track his vehicle’s locations or movements using an electronic tracking device.”