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Volkswagen Chairman: Cars Must Not Become 'Data Monsters' 89

Nerval's Lobster writes "While automakers from Tokyo to Detroit rush to sprinkle their respective vehicles with all sorts of sensors and screens, the chairman of Volkswagen Group has warned about the limits of data analytics for automobiles. 'The car must not become a data monster,' Martin Winterkorn told an audience at the CeBit trade show in Germany, according to Re/code. 'I clearly say yes to Big Data, yes to greater security and convenience, but no to paternalism and Big Brother.' At the same time, Winterkorn endorsed a closer relationship between tech companies such as IBM and the auto industry, and highlighted Volkswagen's experiments with autonomous driving—both of which will necessarily infuse automakers (and his company in particular) with more data-driven processes. The question is which policies from which entities will ultimately dictate how that data is used. Winterkorn isn't the first individual to voice concerns about how automakers (and their partners) store and analyze all that vehicle data. At this January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a Ford executive drew considerable controversy by suggesting that Ford collects detailed information on how customers use its vehicles. '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,' Jim Farley, Ford's global vice president of marketing and sales, told show attendees. Farley later attempted to clarify his statement to Business Insider, but that didn't stop a fierce debate over vehicle monitoring—and certainly hasn't stopped automakers and tech companies from collaborating over more ways to integrate data-centric features to vehicles."
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Volkswagen Chairman: Cars Must Not Become 'Data Monsters'

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  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @04:22PM (#46457503)
    Hey, Ford - you're committing a felony under the CFAA []. I use my car to go to the store and buy stuff, participating in Interstate Commerce. That make the car's computer a "protected computer" under the act. By accessing GPS info, you're "intentionally access[ing] a computer without authorization... and thereby obtain[ing]... information from any protected computer."

    That subjects you to "a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both," since it's being done for commercial advantage.

    And no, even if you got some sort of explicit ToS waiver from the original purchaser of the car, that doesn't extend to any used car buyer.
  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday March 11, 2014 @04:40PM (#46457621) Homepage Journal

    uhmm..... My last car had OnStar. They could track the vehicle. OnStar has it's own cellular module.

    Yea, and in many cases it's approximately 1.5 bitches to remove. In my '09 Silverado, for example, the module is behind the gauge cluster, meaning that pretty much the entire dash has to be disassembled and the SRS system disabled, before you can even think about removing OnStar. Then there's the question of, "What other, non-OnStar systems require the connections in that module to operate?" Long story short, auto manufacturers have fucked customizers when it comes to electronic systems, by tying together shit that has no real reason to be tied together.

    Except, oddly, the crash event recorder - it's right under the driver's seat, and can be disabled without so much as moving the seat forward.

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