Jump to content

Private eyes, they're watching you


Recommended Posts

Car & Driver / April 2014

We’re in a war over data, and drivers are losing.

We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s global marketing chief. “We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way,” he immediately backpedaled, “we don’t supply that data to anyone.”

Ford representatives later recanted the quote but couldn’t do anything about its honesty.

According to a December report by the Government Accountability Office that studied data-collection practices among 10 automakers and suppliers, including Ford, most privacy policies are worded too broadly and vary in how long they keep information. There is no oversight or regulation protecting driver privacy, just a “recommended practice.”

Ask any automaker about safeguards and it will say the same thing: It encrypts data, it doesn’t tag personal information, and its algorithms and software are reliable and fortified against hackers.

But everyone knows that big data is far from secure and that it can be abused*.

In 2011, OnStar took heat when it told users it would track their locations and speed even after they canceled service.

Last year, Tesla chief Elon Musk, in attacking a New York Times reporter for an unfavorable review of the Model S, revealed the writer’s climate-control settings and driving routes in lab-like detail on his company blog.

Even Bugatti has access to Veyron owners’ travels through satellite links.

The car, long a bastion of privacy and freedom, is fast becoming the opposite: an instrument of surveillance and commerce.

* In breaches at Neiman Marcus and Target last year,, hackers stole the personal information of as many as 111 million shoppers, or more than one in three Americans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, and I got a feeling we ain't seen nothing yet.

Say you take your family on a driving vacation, pull your electric car up to an electric car recharging station. That charging station will immediately read your car and credit cards, check for outstanding warrants, unpaid traffic tickets, charge you more for your electrons because your electric car is not efficient enough per new government standards, and calculate your average speed since the last recharge and fine you accordingly. It's almost impossible to travel under the radar these days. Eventually the do-gooders will outlaw any vehicle over 20 years old. It may be too late to get any of our privacy back. I guess we'll see...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've touched on this subject before:


With GuardDog Connect, we have a geofence around every one of our dealerships,” says Stephen Roy, the president of North American sales and marketing for Mack Trucks. Starting this year, we’ll know when a truck comes into a dealership and when a truck leaves a dealership."

Volvo's version of the NSA will be located at the new three-storey Uptime Centre, within the company’s Greensboro, N.C. headquarters.

Volvo has partnered with telematics providers Telogis and PeopleNet to stream customer data. Telogis specializes in "location intelligence."

Roy said. “Since we put GPS on the trucks standard, we’re able to transmit this information to other companies.”


So Volvo (Mack) has decided to track you, the customer. This begs the question, who is tracking Volvo?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gee I almost feel left out. Don't have a Smart Phone, no GPS (just an Atlas and pen), newest vehicle is a 2007, no E Z pass, Pay cash for most everything. Sniffle. . . I feel so alone.....


 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...