I enjoy the fact that we’re seeing some innovation in the long stagnant automobile market. But said innovation comes at a price. Every new feature that is capable of collecting data about your driving habits is a potential set of loose lips that can get you into trouble. The Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Ford let the cat out of the bag when he publicly announced that his company knows when you’re doing something illegal with your automobile:
Farley was trying to describe how much data Ford has on its customers, and illustrate the fact that the company uses very little of it in order to avoid raising privacy concerns: “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone,” he told attendees.
His claim that that data isn’t given to anybody is a lie. If somebody holds data the government can issue a subpoena to take it or use the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance apparatus to secretly take it. Furthermore, if Ford ever declares bankruptcy the data that it has collected on its customers will be sold at its asset auction.
The obvious solutions to this problem are to either forgo a new automobile or disable any new vehicle’s tracking and reporting capabilities. If the data is being collected it can be acquired by unauthorized parties. This fact is especially worrisome as the state continues its slow death spiral and beings desperately grasping at any opportunity to expropriate wealth from the people.