The Car Is Squealing…

from the privacy,-schmivacy,-people-want-convenience dept

The NY Times (yes, you need to register or miss out on reading) has an article about the potential threat towards privacy of various telematics gadgets increasingly showing up in cars these days. I remember, years ago, in NY people being afraid to use EZ-Pass, because they thought they were being tracked. Now, with GPS and systems like OnStar and car “black boxes” in plenty of new cars being shipped every day, should we be concerned about our privacy? Most folks don’t think it’s a big deal, and many of the technologies require a car occupant to turn them on before they can actually transmit anything. Of course, once a few more examples of privacy violations show up, I imagine that consumers might get a bit angrier. I’m surprised that car companies haven’t tried to squeeze something about all this into the terrorism bill. It seems like every other industry has come up with some way to get their pet projects in.

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Comments on “The Car Is Squealing…”

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1 Comment
Bill Kearney says:

Already been done

The GM car computers in some vehicles since the early 90’s have the the ability to report a series of statistics in the last few minutes of their operation. The idea being to extract the speed and braking sensors leading up to an accident. It’s a black box of sorts but nowhere near as sophisticated as those in airplanes. There’s no audio and it’s only a few minutes of data.

Yes, it’s been used in litigation to prove the driver in a GM vehicle did not apply brakes and was travelling at a high rate of speed.

On a funnier note, some years ago a friend of the family had a Mitsubishi that talked. He got in an accident. When he came to he heard the computer repeating “the left rear door is open…, the left rear door is open…”. He was banging on the dash trying to stop it and yelling “Of course it’s open! There’s a VOLKSWAGEN stuck in it!!”

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