“We give full flexibility to our OEM customers to decide how data is used and which data leaves the car.”

Data generation, data protection, and data breaches are among the most important and frequent topics in the media landscape these days. Some experts even argue that data is becoming the currency of the future. With GDPR becoming effective on 25 May, Eric Montague, Sr. Director Product Marketing and Strategy Automotive, talks about data protection and GDPR compliance strategies at Nuance.
Data security has become an important topic for customers - even long before GDPR

Eric, we hear a lot about data and data breaches. The topic seems to dominate the headlines nowadays. Why is this so important for customers?

It is important for three reasons: First, it is important to the users who want to make sure their private data is well protected. Second, it is important for the OEMs to assure customers their brand is not associated with data breaching and protect the integrity of their brand. Third, it is important for us to comply with the laws of all the countries where we are deployed. Today we are deployed in over 40 countries and need to comply with all the applicable laws.


Let’s drill down into this a little bit: What is Nuance doing to protect its customers’ data?

We are changing our processes to ensure that we only provide accessible data when lawful. We have to hire a team of data protection officers to monitor all our activities. We had to specifically change our software to ensure that we optimize the use of data inside the vehicle and minimize the amount of data that goes outside the vehicle.


So, this is a kind of hybrid approach, including off-board and on-board, right?

Yes, we use a hybrid approach where we give full flexibility to our OEM customers to decide how the data is used, how much stays inside the vehicle, and how much goes outside the car.


The EU GDPR is coming to effect shortly. What does that mean for Nuance as a company?

Well, the regulation will become effective on May 25, so for us, this means that we have to work with one of the EU Data Protection Agencies to ensure that we are compliant with all applicable laws. Nuance is headquartered in Ireland, so we are working with the Irish regulators to ensure compliance. In detail, that means changing our processes, hiring data protection experts to monitor our activities, and changing our software architecture to comply with GDPR.


A lot of people assume these kinds of regulations are costly and cumbersome, but I suppose if managed properly, they can actually become real opportunities? 

Absolutely. Trust by the users will create new opportunities for OEMs to offer new services that can generate revenue. In addition, Nuance will be able to offer new technologies and solutions to our customers.

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Richard Taylor

About Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor, a UK-born journalist who spent two decades at the BBC after graduating with Distinctions from Oxford and McGill Universities. After becoming the youngest producer in the BBC World newsroom, he devised the BBC's flagship technology brand, Click, a pioneering TV show broadcast around the world. Today he works with his team of creative professionals - producers, directors of photography, post-production supervisors and animators, to deliver on spec and on time. Richard is also Lead Innovation and Video Instructor at the Advanced Media Institute, part of the world-renowned University of California Berkeley.