Is Your Chinese-Made EV Spying on You? Canada Weighs Security Concerns

Canada is considering imposing higher tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs), mirroring recent actions by the United States and the European Union. While economic factors play a role, national security concerns are at the forefront of this decision.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a 30-day consultation process to address what she termed Beijing’s “unfair trade practices.” The potential tariff increase from 25% to 100% mirrors steps taken by the US, which has also launched a security review of Chinese smart cars.

Cybersecurity experts warn that these vehicles could be used to gather sensitive data on North American drivers. David Shipley, CEO of Beauceron Security, likens Chinese-made EVs with self-driving capabilities to “rolling spy vans” due to their built-in microphones and cameras.

“These cars, particularly the ones that are equipped with self-driving capabilities or smart features, have microphones and cameras. They are rolling spy vans,” Shipley told Global News.

The concerns extend beyond data collection. Shipley highlights the possibility of remote manipulation, suggesting that in a hostile situation, these vehicles could potentially be disabled remotely. Richard Dearlove, former head of Britain’s MI6, shares similar worries.

“The car could be switched off by the manufacturer. How many cars would it take to block circulation of traffic in a major western city?” Dearlove said.

While Chinese-made vehicles currently have a limited presence in North America, their sales are growing in Europe. The US government is exploring regulations for vehicle technology from China and other “countries of concern,” including Russia and Iran.

China has dismissed these security reviews as discriminatory, but, of course, Beijing has reportedly barred certain American EV brands from government compounds over its own data collection concerns.

Also read: TikTok Accidentally Made The Case For US National Security Concern, Admits Chinese Gov’t Won’t Allow Divestment

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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