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Carmakers Keep Data On Drivers' Locations From Navigation Systems 189

cold fjord writes "The Detroit News reports, 'A government report finds that major automakers are keeping information about where drivers have been — collected from onboard navigation systems — for varying lengths of time. Owners of those cars can't demand that the information be destroyed. And, says the U.S. senator requesting the investigation, that raises questions about driver privacy. The Government Accountability Office in a report released Monday found major automakers have differing policies about how much data they collect and how long they keep it. Automakers collect location data in order to provide drivers with real-time traffic information, to help find the nearest gas station or restaurant, and to provide emergency roadside assistance and stolen vehicle tracking. But, the report found, "If companies retained data, they did not allow consumers to request that their data be deleted, which is a recommended practice."'"
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Carmakers Keep Data On Drivers' Locations From Navigation Systems

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  • But of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:18PM (#45891731)

    Our economy is increasingly based on collecting, trading, and exploiting customer information, rather than actually making and selling a product.

    When's the bubble going to burst?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:20PM (#45891763)

    Full stop. Monetization of people, saving their data without their express, signed consent (after they have been acutely made aware -- no EULA click through counts) should be illegal with stiff penalties that include actual prison time. My data is mine. If you want it and want to make money from it, let me know and pay me. I think 50% of all profits you make from my data is beyond fair. Anything less is criminal.

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:28PM (#45891851)
    Because the last thing the Federal government cares about is the privacy of its citizens.
  • by TWiTfan ( 2887093 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:31PM (#45891883)

    Because the REAL government is quietly asking them to hold onto the data.

  • by djmurdoch ( 306849 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:36PM (#45891935)

    The summary (and the report it quotes) is inaccurate. Car owners *can* demand that the companies destroy the data.

    The only problem is, the companies will just ignore the demand.

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:36PM (#45891939)

    They can demand all they want, but that won't change a thing. There's only one way to fight this: Buyers chosing to remove the cell network interfaces from the car...and the RFID tags on the tires.. and the NARC blackboxes...

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:42PM (#45892015)

    Fords don't have a bad mechanism either. They use one's cellphone for sending vehicle health reports and other items. So, instead of checking the forums for the antenna (or antennas) to disconnect, just disable Bluetooth on your phone, or just don't pair your phone up with the Ford console.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @06:07PM (#45892271) Homepage

    A better question, why isn't the data automatically destroyed?

    Because it's valuable to them. Because they'd love to have your car recommend a nearby restaurant. Because they can.

    Welcome to a world ruled by Terms of Service and End User Licenses, and where corporate greed isn't regulated by privacy laws.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @06:20PM (#45892389) Homepage

    Frankly, so what if someone know where you drove to last year.

    Until your wife demands it for divorce proceedings which prove you were at your mistress when you should have been at work.

    Or until someone decides that the fact that you were in Little Italy means you might be associated with organized crime.

    Or any number of ways in which you don't expect your location to be constantly broadcast to a 3rd party, and be something which comes back to bite you in the ass.

    Frankly, I would like the automotive companies to keep it forever but have to get my permission to give it to the government and that the government must serve ME with a warrant to get the data.

    You are aware of the Patriot Act, right? The one which says they can walk into a company, demand your data, and it would be illegal for them to tell you about it?

    Sorry, but as long as they can use national security laws to get this data, putting it into the hands of companies is no solution.

    Sadly, people have known OnStar would have this capability for years.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:09PM (#45893723) Journal

    When you look at large dataset over time people have never really looked at before, patterns emerge.

    And the pattern for societies where people give away their liberty for safety or convenience shows that things often go very badly for those people.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson