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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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  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:35PM (#45891927) Journal
    I am a simple cheapskate and could not bear to part with 2000$ for a car-nav system that will be woefully out of date in 2 years and the car maker would be demanding 900$ for a map update, and the user interface might have been usable at some point in the design before the bean counters and marketers muscled in looking for brand differentiation and cool and oomph factor. So I have a cheap Garmin with a suction cup holder next to shifter.

    Most people look at it and ask my why or at least raise an eye brow. Now I can simply say, "NSA". And they will nod understandingly and my mojo as the rebel who defies the draconian government will go up one notch.

  • by rlwhite ( 219604 ) <rogerwh&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:47PM (#45892065)

    I was in a meeting today with a state DOT official who showed how his department buys monthly GPS tracking data on all traffic in the state, combined from companies including TomTom, Garmin, AT&T, etc. by a private company and processed by the University of Maryland. He was able to use it to prioritize road improvements and later show the benefits of those improvements. The data he had (average speeds for small stretches of road at hourly intervals) was quite granular and powerful for what he was doing but innocuous from a privacy perspective. The question should be, who else are these companies selling the data to and in what form?

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @06:05PM (#45892249) Homepage

    Because the last thing the Federal government cares about is the privacy of its citizens.

    Of course they don't. Because they can demand this information from them and use it themselves.

    "Well, we couldn't get a warrant to install a GPS tracker, but since your Escalade had a GPS/OnStar, we'll just ask GM for all of your travel history. Gee, it says here you were in an area which is known to have drug dealers and prostitutes".

    Much like the Patriot Act rendered cloud-computing to be a security problem for anybody not in the US but using a US based service, the internet of things will essentially cause all of your information to become the property of a company, and readily accessible to the US government.

    I can't possibly put enough layers of tin-foil on to make me feel any better about this stuff. Because we're hurtling towards the dystopian future some of us have been fearing for years.

    Only we seem to be voluntarily providing the companies with this stuff in return for shiny baubles.

  • Re:Obvious. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @06:37PM (#45892545) Homepage Journal

    I would rather not pay for the hardware that presents a hazard I need to avoid. Reach a negotiated price with the dealer and let them know that not removing the built-in spy is a deal breaker.

  • Tesla (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aviators99 ( 895782 ) on Wednesday January 08, 2014 @02:27AM (#45895381) Homepage

    When my Tesla was delivered in 2012, I signed a "Data Usage Agreement" that essentially said that they would be collecting all of my data, all of the time, and using it for whatever they wanted (sort of).

    I don't know what would have happened if I refused to sign that particular document, as and far as I know, every Tesla owner signed it.

    I know of no way to opt out.

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.