Worst car company award in terms of data security goes to Toyota after leaking data of millions of customers for 10 years

The Toyota Motor Corporation confirmed on Friday that the car data of 2.15 million customers in Japan, including those of its premium brand Lexus, had been publicly accessible for almost a decade owing to “human error.” The statement was made in response to a report that the Toyota Motor Corporation had published on Friday. The disaster, which impacted virtually all of Toyota’s clientele who had registered for the company’s primary cloud service platforms after 2012, was brought on by a cloud system that had been inadvertently turned to the public rather than the private mode. Customers who had signed up for the T-Connect service, which offers a wide range of services such as AI voice-enabled driving assistance, automatic connection to call centers for vehicle management, and emergency support in the event of a situation such as a car accident or a sudden illness, were impacted as well. The G-Link services for Lexus vehicles were also impacted. According to the corporation, there have been no complaints of harmful usage; nonetheless, information such as car positions and identification numbers of vehicle devices may have been compromised. This is despite the fact that there have been no indications of malicious use.

This incidence comes to light at the same time that Toyota is ramping up its efforts in the areas of vehicle connection and cloud-based data management in order to provide autonomous driving and other functions supported by artificial intelligence. When asked why it took Toyota so long to realize the error, a spokeswoman for the firm said, “There was a lack of active detection mechanisms, and activities to detect the presence or absence of things that became public.” In other words, the corporation did not have any mechanisms or activities in place to detect the presence or absence of things that became public.  The problem first surfaced in November of last year and continued through the middle of April of this year.

The Personal Information Protection Commission in Japan was made aware of an occurrence, but in keeping with their standard procedure, the commission has chosen not to divulge any more information at this time. Toyota has implemented safeguards to prevent unauthorized third parties from gaining access to the company’s data and is in the process of conducting an examination into all cloud environments that are administered by Toyota Connected Corp. Following a string of previous large data breaches in Japan, including one in March when mobile provider NTT DoCoMo revealed the data of up to 5.29 million users may have been compromised due to a firm to whom it had outsourced work.

The corporation said that it will be contacting individual consumers about the breach and that it has established a hotline for queries.

The problem comes after Toyota disclosed in October a second data breach affecting T-Connect that affected a far lesser amount of customers.

In April, Toyota revealed that there had been security breaches at its headquarters in Italy, which might have resulted in the exposure of customer information.