In today’s world, data privacy concerns are of utmost importance, thus the integration of driver monitoring systems (DMS) in vehicles sparks skepticism among consumers. The idea of cameras and sensors tracking driver behavior can evoke feelings of intrusion. Addressing these concerns requires transparency, clear communication, and privacy measures to reassure consumers that their data is being handled responsibly. 

According to the General Safety Regulation (GSR), all new vehicle models introduced to the European market after mid 2024 need to be equipped with systems for drowsiness and attention detection (DDAW) and distraction recognition and prevention (ADDW). To pass the tests laid out in the regulation, especially for ADDW, camera-based solutions have become necessary. 

While DMS offer benefits in enhancing safety and improving driver behavior, questions regarding data collection, storage, and usage have raised valid concerns. In this blog, we delve into DMS, exploring how they work, the responsibilities of various stakeholders, and the standpoint of consumers. 

Driver Monitoring Systems 

According to the European Commission, fatigue and distraction contribute up to 50% of all accidents in Europe. With the aim to reduce the number of accidents, the GSR passed in 2019 put forward some requirements that speed up the process of DMS adoption.  

In a nutshell, driver monitoring systems include cameras, sensors, and software algorithms, to monitor driver behavior and attentiveness. These systems analyze factors such as head position, eye movement, and facial expressions to detect signs of drowsiness, distraction, or other types of impairment. When signs are detected that indicate any form of driver impairment, real-time alerts are issued through visual, audio and haptic sensors. Thus, driver monitoring systems are highly functional and critically important to mitigate risks and accidents, protecting drivers, occupants and vulnerable road users. With the GSR in place, it is projected that over 25,000 lives could be saved, and more than 140,000 serious injuries prevented. 

Responsibilities of various Stakeholders  

Multiple stakeholders are involved in the creation and application of driver monitoring systems. The main driver of privacy and security are regulatory bodies as they establish and enforce regulations governing DMS implementation and data privacy standards. They are responsible for establishing adequate safety requirements while protecting individual privacy rights. As stated in the GSR, driver monitoring systems should operate in a closed loop, not make any data available to third parties at any time and delete data after processing. 


“Any processing of personal data, such as information about the driver processed in event data recorders or information about the driver’s drowsiness and attention or the driver’s distraction, should be carried out in accordance with Union data protection law, in particular Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Event data recorders should operate on a closed-loop system, in which the data stored is overwritten, and which does not allow the vehicle or holder to be identified. In addition, the driver drowsiness and attention warning or advanced driver distraction warning should not continuously record nor retain any data other than what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or otherwise processed within the closed-loop system… Furthermore, those data shall not be accessible or made available to third parties at any time and shall be immediately deleted after processing.” GSR, L 325/3, 14 


On the application side, software and hardware providers which are typically Tier-1 and Tier-2 companies, create the technology behind driver monitoring systems. They are responsible for implementing security measures to safeguard data against unauthorized access or breaches. There are numerous quality and security certifications and standards in place that they need to adhere to and most of them are committed to data privacy internally and externally. 

As part of the second group of relevant stakeholders, emotion3D values data privacy at all levels of development. On a company level, we are TISAX Level 3 certified and hold several other Quality Management certifications. During our software development process, we obtain consent from everyone included in our training and validation data sets. This helps us gather a diverse range of data, which is crucial to prevent biases regarding ethnicities, gender and age, while protecting the individual’s privacy. Moreover, we use synthetic data extensively to reduce the need to record real people and still cover all variabilities that exist in given scenarios resulting in highly effective solutions. Finally, our software complies with local regulations such as GSR in Europe, where our software runs directly in the car without any data leaving the vehicle. 

Finally, the third group of relevant stakeholders are vehicle manufacturers (OEMs), which are responsible for the integration of these hardware and software solutions into their vehicles. They must ensure compliance with local regulations and that if data collection is needed it is conducted in a transparent, consent-driven way, and compliant with privacy laws. In the end, they are responsible for the vehicle and therefore in charge of controlling all steps and parties involved in the creation and integration of the driver monitoring system. 

Internationally, Europe is the leader in terms of data privacy. Policies and regulations protecting the privacy of individuals such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) were first established and adopted in Europe. While we hold ourselves to these high standards, regulations or the lack thereof can paint a different picture elsewhere. We understand the significance of balancing safety standards and regulations with data privacy and hope similar caution will be given to it across the world. Informed consumers can be highly effective in advocating for their rights and demanding this balance from relevant stakeholders, which is detailed in the section below. 

Consumers and Data Privacy 

All of us as consumers should take our data privacy seriously and keep up with regulations and policies regarding data privacy, so that we can take countermeasures and advocate for better data protection. Following trustworthy information sources is highly critical as misinformation is prevalent about such topics, especially online.  

We try to contribute to this aspect through knowledge sharing on different platforms such as our LinkedIn page or company website. The Regulatory Radar is updated periodically to aid consumers and industry specialists to keep up with DMS developments in the automotive industry across the world whereas monthly blogs tackle trends and significant subjects to share accurate information with the public. 


In conclusion, the integration of driver monitoring systems presents both opportunities and challenges in the realm of data privacy. By fostering transparency, accountability, and consumer empowerment, skepticism towards safety innovations can be overcome and individual privacy rights can be protected. 

Tier-2 suppliers such as us, Tier-1s and OEMs are ethically obligated to put appropriate data privacy measures in place – even in areas of the world where regulatory data safety requirements are not as strong. Driver monitoring systems will become part of our everyday life and it is important to feel comfortable behind the wheel. Ensuring data privacy is a shared responsibility, and it’s essential for each of us to uphold accountability and contribute to safeguarding sensitive information.