Your Car is Watching You

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If knowledge is power, there sure is a lot of power lying around out there, waiting for someone to pick it up and use it.

Modern cars are full of computers, and those computers transmit all sorts of data back to the car’s manufacturer: not only data on the car’s performance… but on yours (https://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/cars-data-privacy). Data on your weight, what restaurants you go to, what music you listen to, and your choice of destinations.

And if you connect your smartphone (beware anything that’s sold to you as “smart”!) to your car, watch out! You’ll be sending the manufacturer a lot of personal information expressed in your phone calls and whatever else a smartphone does. I don’t have one.

Although European Union courts have ruled that the information thus collected belongs to you, the car’s owner, here in the U.S. we don’t yet have any laws as to how this information may be used, or by whom–just a set of voluntary guidelines adopted by the industry five years ago.

Who’s to stop the manufacturer from selling your information to whoever wants to pay for it? From turning it over to, say, the IRS or some other government agency? Nobody, actually. What we have here is your car watching you, listening in on you, and reporting all of it back to the manufacturer. And where it goes from there–who knows?

And another thing nobody knows–how to put this genie back into the bottle.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

10 responses to “Your Car is Watching You

  • unknowable2

    Good advice, Lee. Technology can be very intrusive on one’s privacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Elijah Holston

    My family has never owned a car newer than 2006, so our cars probably aren’t spying on us. Cars were made better and more durable back in the 90’s anyway!

    Like

  • dunnasead.co

    Our car’s computer blue tooth was turned on without our permission- no amount of turning off was permanent, and then the info they gathered was commented- in the most vile and disgusting way- “I learn so much from you two- oh so you were at…. nice place… watch for me at the next table next time you are there…” Be careful who services your car.

    Like

    • leeduigon

      Holy cow, who did that?? Was there anything you could do about it?

      Like

      • dunnasead.co

        We, through our jobs, have made very good friends over the years. This car issue is not the only invasion of our privacy, and these friends have been helping us catch these very very sick people. If you haven’t seen the film “the circle” you might be interested. We are recommending it to everyone we know. The key word in the modern world appears to be “transparency.” which may be acceptable, or even good, for public situations, like medical care, but in my opinion, is very very sick when used in private ones. Or, as a marvelous comic over here has stated, it used to be that every village had a village idiot, and the town snoop. Now all the idiots and snoops are linked and are friends on the internet. And are now making a living out of it.

        Like

    • weavingword

      Yikes! Time for a restraining order maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

  • unknowable2

    If you turn off Bluetooth at your phone, there’s nothing for it to link to.

    Like

  • weavingword

    Very creepy! Though I’m sure anyone spying on my car as I run errands would be quite bored. They’d hear a lot of Christian music or sermons playing through the radio, or just silence if I’m working out book stuff in my head.

    Like

  • thewhiterabbit2016

    I do not have a cell phone – I like my freedom. Sen. Tom Coburn of OK retired said the first thing he did when he retired from the Senate was to get rid of his smart phone because he knew how the gov’t was collecting all of his data. I see where the Alexis device is also recording all that is said to it – good grief. Just imagine what it is like for citizens in Red China.

    Like

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