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Ford Exec: 'We Know Everyone Who Breaks the Law' Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car 599

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-know-what-you-did-last-summer dept.
An anonymous reader sends this report from Business Insider: "[Ford VP Jim 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. Rather, he said, he imagined a day when the data might be used anonymously and in aggregate to help other marketers with traffic related problems. Suppose a stadium is holding an event; knowing how much traffic is making its way toward the arena might help the venue change its parking lot resources accordingly, he said." Farley later realized how his statement sounded, and added, "We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or consent."
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Ford Exec: 'We Know Everyone Who Breaks the Law' Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car

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  • Herpin' the Derp (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:53AM (#45915715)

    Farley later realized how his statement sounded, and added, "We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or consent."

    Approval or consent, English-American, verb: To use. To accept the licensing terms. To look at. To think about.

    • by erikkemperman (252014) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:57AM (#45915749)

      By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone,' he told attendees.

      Well, until they show up with an NSL, in which case we'll supply the data forthwith. But don't worry, we'll still have to maintain we really don't.

      • Re:Herpin' the Derp (Score:5, Informative)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:01AM (#45915795)

        Well, until they show up with an NSL, in which case we'll supply the data forthwith. But don't worry, we'll still have to maintain we really don't.

        NSL? Dude, why does everyone think it takes super secret letters from the government to get a corporation to whore on your personal data? I wasn't joking when I said cars these days have EULAs [ford.com]. To quote Ford's EULA covering this particular feature: Ford may use the vehicle information it collects, as well as information regarding individual access to Vehicle Health Reports at www.syncmyride.com for any purpose.

        • Re:Herpin' the Derp (Score:5, Interesting)

          by erikkemperman (252014) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:18AM (#45915965)

          Um, I never said you were incorrect about that EULA. I just wanted to point out that even when they would prefer not to hand over the data -- which is what this exec is saying, whether or not their license would formally allow them to -- there are cases in which 1) they don't have a choice in the matter and 2) the rest of us can't expect to find out about it.

        • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:19AM (#45915971)

          how does that work for used car purchases?

          I seriously doubt that any original owner agreements would be binding. in fact, 'ford' won't know who the current owner is, only the dealer-based buyer's identity. the gov will know (due to registration and tags) though.

          the more I hear about modern cars self-spying, the more I want to keep my very old car running and in good condition.

          • by rmdingler (1955220) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:25AM (#45916027)
            OnStar has used Madison Avenue to convince auto purchasers of the safety and security advantages of always being monitored,

            completely failing to mention the compromise in freedom.

          • Re:Herpin' the Derp (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:48AM (#45916241)

            'ford' won't know who the current owner is,

            Oh please. Every state DMV shares that information with vehicle manufacturers. How do you think they're able to send you a recall notice when you're not the original owner?

          • Re:Herpin' the Derp (Score:5, Informative)

            by Archangel Michael (180766) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:15AM (#45917389) Journal

            You realize, you don't actually purchase your vehicle. Even people who pay cash do not get the MSO of the car, it goes to the state (or destroyed) in which the car was sold, and replaced with a "certificate of title" which people assume is "title" but it is not, it is just a certificate that the title has been handed to the state. if you were to gain the MSO for the vehicle you're driving, you would not need to put a license plate on your vehicle as it is not tied to the state in any way shape or form.

            We hand over so much power and authority to the "state" by our normal actions that we are not aware of. We are wards and slaves to the state.

            • Re:Herpin' the Derp (Score:5, Informative)

              by femtobyte (710429) on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:49PM (#45918511)

              The concept of ownership, title, and property are themselves products of having a state. Why am I not allowed to jump in "your" car, modify it as I wish (to start the ignition), and drive away? Because, somewhere in a filing cabinet, there is a magical piece of paper saying that the car is "yours" and not "mine" --- a property in no way inherent in the physical existence of the car itself. The "magic" of the paper that makes the car "yours" is that enough people agree to the rules of the state --- so, they probably won't try to drive your car; and, if they do, someone else may hunt them down and forcibly detain them (again, by power of the state). There is no private property without the state, besides the "private property" of whoever is strongest and nastiest to kill everyone else and grab their stuff.

              States may indeed have too much power --- but, if you want "private property" so that some magical piece of paper can dictate who gets to drive "your" car, then you'll need a state (a shared delusion negotiated with a sufficient number of your neighbors).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I love this part (emphasis added):

          "By activating or using the Service you expressly agree to the collection, logging, storage, and sharing of your vehicle travel information and other call details for the purposes set forth above in these Terms and Conditions regardless of whether or not you have read them."

          That's a beautiful bit of lawyer-speak there.

      • Re:Herpin' the Derp (Score:5, Informative)

        by JeffAtl (1737988) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:28AM (#45917541)

        Well, until they show up with an NSL, in which case we'll supply the data forthwith. But don't worry, we'll still have to maintain we really don't.

        It doesn't take a NSL. A subpoena in a divorce case or a warrant from local law enforcement would be enough.

        Why does everyone think that the NSA is the only entity capable of obtaining private data?

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:11AM (#45915891) Homepage

      I'm assuming the "approval and consent" is buried somewhere in very small print and the default value is "accept".

      I'm also guessing his company is very unhappy with him right now.

      • by Greyfox (87712)
        Oh no! There is no default value. It's in the tiny print in the paperwork you must sign when you buy the car. The ONLY value is accept. You can not-accept or you can buy the car. Those are your choices.
    • The Legal maxim is "Qui tacet consentire": "Silence gives consent".

      In modern corporate legal language this translates to -- "(Consumer) Ignorence is (Our) Bliss".

      • Re:Herpin' the Derp (Score:5, Informative)

        by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:02AM (#45917175)

        The Legal maxim is "Qui tacet consentire": "Silence gives consent".

        The phrase is "qui tacet consentire videtur," which literally means, "he who is silent appears [videtur] to consent." Your phrase doesn't make grammatical sense. Literally, you said: "he who is silent, to consent."

        In modern corporate legal language this translates to -- "(Consumer) Ignorence is (Our) Bliss".

        Since we're on the topic of Latin, the English word ignorance comes from a first-conjugation Latin verb ignorare -- note the characteristics "a" of the first conjugation.

        Pro-tip: whenever posting about "ignorance," check your sources.

  • Well (Score:5, Funny)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:54AM (#45915719)

    I guess that's one way of getting yourself fired.

    • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:58AM (#45915755)

      Fired, CEO, def.: To be given a bonus. To be handed large amounts of money. Given an early retirement with free company-provided yachts.

      Fired, you, def.: To be fucked. Screwed. Rendered destitute. Forced to sell everything of value and told you are a drain on the resources of society.
      --

      No matter how badly a CEO fucks up, they still get a "punishment" that's far in excess of any reward you'll likely get for your entire career, no matter how big the contribution.

      • Recognizing this fact is one.
        Coming up with a solution is a completely different matter.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:34AM (#45916117)

          The solution will never happen. There is only two ways it'll happen:

          1. Boards stop that horseshit but they won't. They'll take care of their buddies and BS the shareholders by saying "We NEED to offer those compensation packages in order to get the best talent." And we all know that CEO talent has very little to do with business performance - although, the runup of Yahoo! because Meyer being hired - and no improvement in company fundamentals - showed the stupidity of Wall Street.

          2. Regulation - which won't happen because the majority of Americans are under the delusion that all they have to do is work harder and they can one day be in that position and therefore; any laws in that regard will hurt them down the line. And also, the propaganda about "Socialism" and what have you from the business/money'ed class' mouthpieces in the media.

        • by bigwheel (2238516)

          It's none of your or my business how Ford deals with its CEO. Our decisions are:
          1: whether to buy a Ford or a Yugo
          2: whether or not to buy shares in the company

          Complaining about a company while continuing to buy their products is not a solution.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by StripedCow (776465)

            The economy is a group dynamic process. Your role in the economy is affected by the roles of others, and how they play them. This may not be a direct relation, but the relation exists, and in several ways (not just as a consumer-buyer relationship). Therefore, what a CEO of some company does is certainly your and my business.

      • Re:Well (Score:5, Funny)

        by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@Nos ... t-retrograde.com> on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:35AM (#45916123)

        Fired, you, def.: To be fucked. Screwed. Rendered destitute. Forced to sell everything of value and told you are a drain on the resources of society.

        Synonym: Married.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:54AM (#45915729) Homepage
    What I want to know is, Why does Ford need this data? I understand why people would have a GPS in their car, and why a recording of their actions might be stored on the car (although even more than a short history should be easily erased), but why doesn't this information need to be transmitted back to the car company at all? I bet most people, when asked about whether or not they want a GPS system are not told that the GPS will send information back to the manufacturer about their every movement.
    • by beaverdownunder (1822050) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:59AM (#45915771)

      Customers don't generally report casual breakdowns, for example. Also, habit trends can help with designing newer models. You'll always get a better picture of your customers' habits with transparent metrics.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:07AM (#45915857)

        Customers don't generally report casual breakdowns, for example. Also, habit trends can help with designing newer models. You'll always get a better picture of your customers' habits with transparent metrics.

        Let's not forget that a complete history of your driving habits can be sold to third parties for a nice profit. Oh, did I mention by third parties I mean anyone, ever? You don't need a search warrant... just pay the $5 to get a complete "enhanced driver profile". I know what you're thinking: Aren't there laws against this? Maybe, but you agreed to let them do whatever they want when you turned the key and drove it off the lot; says so in the small print [ford.com].

        When you run a Vehicle Health Report, Ford Motor Company may collect your cell phone number (to process your report request) and diagnostic information about your vehicle. Certain versions or updates to Vehicle Health Report may also collect additional vehicle information. Ford may use the vehicle information it collects, as well as information regarding individual access to Vehicle Health Reports at www.syncmyride.com for any purpose.

        • One reason car companies collect this data is to steal the car back from you (repossess it) in the event of non-payment. The GPS tracking is often turned over to the Repo operators when they need to go steal your car back.
          • by TWX (665546) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:55AM (#45916329)

            One reason car companies collect this data is to steal the car back from you (repossess it) in the event of non-payment. The GPS tracking is often turned over to the Repo operators when they need to go steal your car back.

            Bullshit. The financing companies, even those owned by the auto manufacturers, aren't savvy enough to get that kind of information from the manufacturer, and the repo companies generally aren't savvy enough to use that information even if it were passed on to them. They'd have to be able to do this in real-time for it to be any good over current methods.

            Towing companies get the home and work addresses of the defaulted borrower, and possibly the addresses of family members, and go look for the car at those locations. They don't concern themselves with getting every single car, and they don't go after vehicles that are stored under lock and key unless there's a compelling reason to bring law enforcement with them.

          • by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday January 10, 2014 @10:04AM (#45916455)

            One reason car companies collect this data is to steal the car back from you (repossess it) in the event of non-payment. The GPS tracking is often turned over to the Repo operators when they need to go steal your car back.

            True. And it works because of the incredibly low level of understanding about modern technology. Anyone with a wire cutter, soldering iron, and a few long runs of wire can thoroughly disable such a system. It's usually just a box wired directly to the battery and has a relay in series with the ignition. Cut the power leads and solder a wire to bridge the relay and you're done. Total time: 10 minutes. For bonus points, buy a deep cycle marine battery, a 50 gallon drum, and throw the result inside then seal it up and drop it off in the nearest river. It'll happily chirp it's location as it floats nine states away and off into the ocean.

            But then, I was feeling really bitchy when I helped a friend do this...

            • by Viol8 (599362)

              Yeah, that'll work - until the day the cars computer *requires* there to be a GPS tracker connected and it won't be a simple DC connection either - it'll be an encrypted 2 way protocol which your average joe is rather unlikely to be able to spoof without a lab of equipment and a Phd in cryptography or unless someone has already done it and provided a public hack. Which will work until the cars firmware gets updated over the air.

    • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:02AM (#45915797)

      "What I want to know is, Why does Ford need this data?"

      Their robot car department probably needs it, at the very least.

    • Doesn't Ford support an Operator Assistance thing? They use a built in GPS for sending a tow to you or help you with directions etc.
    • by Albanach (527650) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:07AM (#45915851) Homepage

      What I want to know is, Why does Ford need this data?

      Of course they don't need it. My ten year old ford isn't sending them any info, but they were still quite capable of making cars a decade ago.

      The issue is why they want it, and it's because data is valuable. From a vehicle manufacturer's point of view it's actually most useful in anonymous aggregate. They are interested in trends. If they see lots of warranty claims, they may be able to isolate them to a group of drivers with similar driving style then mitigate this in future product designs.

      From a business perspective, they will always be looking at new markets like the one suggested by the exec.

      The biggest issue for me is the absolute lack of data protection laws in the US. There is an urgent need for some default rules that determine what can and cannot be done with customer data.

    • Why does Ford need this data?

      If I'm being paranoid (and I find that's the best course of action when talking about giant groups of people with lots of power and government influence, such as a corporation), then I'd guess Ford would like to sell that data to the government. It would probably start with the ability to do an amber alert plus: you'd find the car in question by remotely turning on GPS.

      But like ONLY for child molesters! You can't possibly be in FAVOR of making child molesting kidnappers' lives easier, can you?!? If yo

    • by nabsltd (1313397) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:17AM (#45917411)

      I understand why people would have a GPS in their car, and why a recording of their actions might be stored on the car (although even more than a short history should be easily erased), but why doesn't this information need to be transmitted back to the car company at all?

      Unless their newest cars have changed radically (I have a 2011 Ford), nothing is transmitted back, because there is no transmitter built in to the car. You can have your cell phone connected via bluetooth, but that doesn't give the car access to the data network (although it does have access to make phone calls, obviously).

      The GPS data may be stored, and it might be recoverable in some way, but if you don't take your car into a Ford dealer and don't send a "vehicle health report", I don't see any way that Ford can get the data.

  • ...they would be fools not to. It's worth its proverbial weight in... well, nothing else is that valuable.

    What he really means is they don't share it. But for their own purposes it's a pretty sure bet they analyze the hell out of it.

  • Point taken. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:57AM (#45915751)

    Don't buy ford.

    • Re:Point taken. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:03AM (#45915811) Homepage Journal

      Who do you buy your supplies from when every corporation is intrusive?

      Every thread at slashdot has some snide NSA comment, and that's understandable. Slashdot tends to be more enlightened, but there are far fewer snide comments and corporate entities being intrusive with data (and the ones there are tend to be about Google and Facebook).

      However, if EVERY corporation is intrusive (and car companies will all be if they aren't already) then where do you go? Do you buy from Huffy? Huffy will probably put GPS in their frames.

      The idiot comment about OWS was always "but.. but... but... they buy stuff from corporations!" But what else can you do if you live in the U.S. Do you go out and live in a shack like the Unibomber?

      • Personally, I'm going to take a page from Cuba and continue driving and maintaining old cars. I'm not sure what year the real cutoff should be, but (conservatively) most cars built before 2000 should be safe. (It might be possible to get something as new as 2005 or so, but would require research to make sure. Remember, even if the car doesn't have something obviously intrusive like OnStar or Sync, it may still have a "black box.")

        • Starting with OBDII you should be a little suspicious. OBDIII was outright intrusive and got blocked, but non-standard monitoring has proliferated since then.

          What you should be vigilant for are mandatory updating requirements, either buyback of "the old clunkers", or mandatory installation of "safety and environmental monitoring devices." If you think that won't happen, look at trends in personal liberty over the last 20 years, and remind your elected representatives what you want, and don't want, frequen

        • by plover (150551) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:57AM (#45916355) Homepage Journal

          I'm not sure what year the real cutoff should be, but (conservatively) most cars built before 2000 should be safe.

          Funny you should use the word "safe" in this context. Cars with built-in networking can send an alert to emergency services in the event of a rollover, air bag deployment, seat belt pre-tensioner activation, or other indication of a crash, all without driver assistance. The quick response means rescuers may arrive in time to save your life.

          Your odds of dying in a car accident are about 1:88. Have you computed the odds that your car's betrayal of your location will cause you to personally suffer? Have you weighed the two together in a meaningful way?

          My Ford has all of the above, but it has one downgrade that i consider a feature in this case. It can only communicate using a Bluetooth phone as a modem. If i get in an accident, it will auto-dial into an emergency reporting service. But it does not ever dial my phone outside of that, and never sends my location anywhere else. I like that.

          • by GlennC (96879)

            But it does not ever dial my phone outside of that, and never sends my location anywhere else.

            At least, it doesn't tell you when it does...

      • Re:Point taken. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thoth (7907) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:39AM (#45916165) Journal

        Who do you buy your supplies from when every corporation is intrusive?
        [...]
        However, if EVERY corporation is intrusive (and car companies will all be if they aren't already) then where do you go?

        Depends on who you ask. The Ayn-Randian-objectivist-anarcho-liberterian-conservative-capitalists, who have complete faith in the correctness of the free market even in the absence of government regulations, believe that the free market itself will solve this: eventually, corporations that don't monetize everything about you, will emerge and compete for the business of people who care about stuff like how their data is used. They will charge slightly higher prices to offset the profit they lose by not selling your data.

        Otherwise, those of us that don't live in a theoretical or academic fantasy land, will instead seek laws/regulations to limit this behavior.

        • Depends on who you ask. The Ayn-Randian-objectivist-anarcho-liberterian-conservative-capitalists, who have complete faith in the correctness of the free market even in the absence of government regulations, believe that the free market itself will solve this: eventually, corporations that don't monetize everything about you, will emerge and compete for the business of people who care about stuff like how their data is used. They will charge slightly higher prices to offset the profit they lose by not selling your data.

          This has happened with phones. A small European company is producing the OpenPhoenux Neo900, a new phone for people who want control over their own devices.

          The finished phone is projected to cost $800~1200USD...that's not "slightly" more expensive.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In fact, don't buy any car. And while we're at it, never pay for public transport with anything else than cash. Those fancy smart cards will track you. Oh and never use a credit or debit card, only cash, never own a cell phone and never use an internet connection (unless you pirate one from a neighbour).

      Obviously, we have a choice. Either we seek help to cure our paranoia, or we all choose an Amish life.

    • Don't buy ford.

      Easier solution: don't pay for overpriced features in a car: navigation & communications systems. WTF would I pay for a nav system in a car when I have one on my phone or tablet?

      • Re:Point taken. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268) on Friday January 10, 2014 @10:16AM (#45916553)

        This is fine for avoiding Ford's intrusiveness, but now you're giving Google access to all your travel data.

        • This is fine for avoiding Ford's intrusiveness, but now you're giving Google access to all your travel data.

          Um, no. I use an app on my iPad that has downloaded maps. No data plan on my iPad. Admittedly, the app provider could transmit home when I connect to WiFi.

  • by pngwen (72492) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:01AM (#45915791) Journal

    I, an active professor and research scientist, drive a 1982 Dodge Ram Pickup. No tracking, no disconnect, easy to work on engine. I will keep this baby going for the rest of my life, and no company will be tracking my whereabouts. (So long as I remember to turn off my cell phone, which I usually do.)

    • by StripedCow (776465) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:14AM (#45915911)

      I will keep this baby going for the rest of my life, and no company will be tracking my whereabouts.

      Until your car doesn't pass the upcoming environmental (read: tracking) regulations.

    • by Shabbs (11692)

      My 2002 "low tech, no frills, 5-speed manual shift" Dodge Dakota is looking better and better these days. Heh.

    • And no money left once you buy gas for 1000 km.
      • And no money left once you buy gas for 1000 km.

        You might be surprised; I used to have a 1989 GMC Sierra that got almost the same mileage as the 2009 Sierra I drive now.

        Mileage in trucks hasn't really changed much the last 20 years or so.

    • you mean, removing the battery from your phone. turning it off is not enough and even airplane mode likely can be disabled given the right app and privs.

    • I had the same plan, keep my car until it was dead. Problem was, the death of my car happened a lot sooner than I envisioned.

      Someone on the freeway was inattentive and slammed into me during a traffic slowdown. Result? Car totalled (and very minor damage to me, which I guess is kudos for Toyota.)

      I don't think my new "used" car has a GPS in it, but one might've got snuck in without me knowing.

      Good luck keeping your car "forever".

      --PeterM

  • by sinij (911942) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:02AM (#45915803) Journal

    As a consumer, why would this entice me to purchase a car from Ford?

    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:16AM (#45915941)

      As a consumer, why would this entice me to purchase a car from Ford?

      At this point, the question you gotta ask yourself is: what other manufacturers are also doing this but haven't accidentally mentioned it in a public forum? Not buying Ford might punish Ford, true. But it might punish Ford not so much for doing it as to admitting it. (But that's your business as a consumer, of course. You can buy or not buy anything for any reason or no reason at all. I don't know which one I'd pick.)

      Long time ago, I interviewed for a job and the boss told me that he really didn't have that good of a method to honestly evaluate employees. So raises tended to go to the employees he thought were working the hardest and thus the most productive. And those employees were the ones he saw the most. In turning down the position, I wondered if I was giving up working for an honest boss in favor of a liar who would do the same thing but not admit to it. (For closure purposes, I found a middle ground: the boss admitted to the "face time" thing after I signed on.)

  • The first thing I'll be doing is hunting around with ball-peen hammer for the GPS module.

    The end.

  • Approval & Consent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Diddlbiker (1022703) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:03AM (#45915813)
    Meaning it's listed somewhere in the bill of sale. "Well you bought the car, didn't you? There's your consent"
  • Crime (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:07AM (#45915855) Homepage

    If Ford knows people are committing crimes, aren't they legally required to report it, otherwise they become an accessory..?

    • If Ford knows people are committing crimes, aren't they legally required to report it, otherwise they become an accessory..?

      You're trying to use logic in the realm of Law. That doesn't work. Further, you're trying to extrapolate laws to corporations (and government protected organizations at that). You're setting yourself up for a fail.

    • Re:Crime (Score:4, Funny)

      by Rob the Bold (788862) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:24AM (#45916023)

      If Ford knows people are committing crimes, aren't they legally required to report it, otherwise they become an accessory..?

      All that's left now is to send the monthly fine statements to each owner.

      And to figure out how to use the three seashells.

    • by Vicarius (1093097)

      If Ford knows people are committing crimes, aren't they legally required to report it, otherwise they become an accessory..?

      They didn't say anything about "crime". Ford probably knows only your location and speed you were going, i.e. they know if you are speeding and breaking the law. Most likely they put in that system, so that people who get into accidents cannot claim it was Ford's manufacturing defect that caused the accident.

  • by mbone (558574) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:08AM (#45915863)

    Farley later realized how his statement sounded, and added, "We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or consent."

    So, if Ford gets a court order requiring the tracking of someone, or some class of someones, they will disobey it?

    Sure. And all Fords get 1000 miles per gallon, too.

    Look for the scenes in new mob movies where part of the initiation into the mafia is taking the GPS out of your car.

    • I would simply install jammers in my own car. unless you disassemble the car down to metal, you may not find all the 'bugs' in there. otoh, a powerful transmitter can block reception of the gps and render any local bugs 'mute' (sic).

  • So how exactly is the customers consent/approval meaningful, if the data is collected anyway, and any yahoo at NSA/DHS can demand it on a massive scale without any warrent whatsoever?
  • Key thing is "Implied".

    But then again how is this any different then the "Black Box" in the car?

    Don't get me wrong, I disagree with the Black Box and the GPS tracking. I think that we, as a nation, haven't screamed loud enough at our leadership to tell them to get out of our lives.

    Hell, as a nation, we've elected these bastards who have basically told us to Bend over and Take it.

  • I wonder if they are going to put methane detectors in the seat cushions? ...and smoke detectors???
  • another way of saying "jack up parking fees".

  • It can't be that hard to disable or remove the GPS. I'm sure anyone who can assemble their own computer (which is probably everybody at Slashdot) could do it in an hour. My assumption is that it won't be illegal to tamper with either.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      GPS is not 2 way communication. How exactly are they retrieving the information from a car? Do they have a secret cellular connection?

  • Umm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by anmre (2956771) on Friday January 10, 2014 @09:42AM (#45916187)

    Suppose a stadium is holding an event; knowing how much traffic is making its way toward the arena might help the venue change its parking lot resources accordingly, he said.

    ... or you could just count the number of tickets sold.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Friday January 10, 2014 @11:53AM (#45917891)

    Somewhere in this car is a chip that is wirelessly communicating with Ford.

    Where is it?

    Simply insulating the radio transmitter should silence it. Simple task.

    And something you might be happy to pay your mechanic to do... heck... some metallic paint might work. Spray the little bastard.

  • by sottitron (923868) on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:00PM (#45917965)
    Why do I need to rely on signs in this day and age? Why doesn't my car display the speed limit wherever I am? Its frustrating to be in an industrial area and find that you are speeding because the limit dropped to 25 for no reason.
  • by Jawnn (445279) on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:36PM (#45918377)
    ...is where to place the drill bit and how deep to go.
  • Boiling frogs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Friday January 10, 2014 @12:53PM (#45918555)

    Those bubbles you see around you are not soap bubbles.

     

  • by kilodelta (843627) on Friday January 10, 2014 @01:01PM (#45918637) Homepage
    Is that they adjust speed limits accordingly. After all if Ford sees the 90th quintile regularly exceeding posted speed limits maybe they could put some pressure on the NHTSA and the Federal Government to stop dicking with speed limits on highways.

    Many of our speed limits are set artificially low. The reasons for this are many, including of course ticket revenue and ostensibly 'safety'.

    But cars today are a very far cry from cars that were around back then. Think for a moment, cars now have ABS, passive restraint, traction control, and many have semi-autonomous control of breaking and even steering. So by that argument speed limits should go up.

    Add to this - I remember when speed limits in urban areas in the late 1960's and early 1970's were 70MPH.

    Puzzle me this though - why is it in Germany where much of the Autobahn has now maximum speed limit the highway deaths are lower than in the United States where we have these artificially low speed limits? Could it be it costs around $2,000 in Germany to get a license?
    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      Puzzle me this though - why is it in Germany where much of the Autobahn has now maximum speed limit the highway deaths are lower than in the United States where we have these artificially low speed limits? Could it be it costs around $2,000 in Germany to get a license?

      It's probably due to the fact that, on the autobahn, you get fined not according to speed, but by distance between you and the car in front of you. This promotes driver safety much better than a speed trap could ever hope to do. What is also nice is that the amount of your fine is based on your income. That asshole speeding down the highway in a Bentley doesn't care about a $300 ticket. But he would probably care about a $3000 one.

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