From the Right



Is Your Car Spying on You?

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano on

"I predict future happiness for Americans,

if they can prevent the government from

wasting the labors of the people under

the pretense of taking care of them."

-- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Last week, Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Edward Markey of Massachusetts revealed that automobiles sold in the United States with a GPS or emergency call system accumulate the travel data of the vehicle on computer chips located in the vehicle and the vehicle manufacturers have remote access to the computer chips. They revealed this is a letter to the Federal Trade Commission that, at this writing, has gone unanswered.


The senators complained that the computer chips in late-model vehicles retain the records of the location and driving habits utilized by the operator of each vehicle.

One probably expects some of this as most GPS systems ask if you are looking for directions to a location to which you have traveled in the past. That very request on your dashboard should trigger the observation that the vehicle's computer chip has stored the requests you have input to the GPS.

But it doesn't stop with a record of your GPS requests. What the two senators revealed was truly startling. The computer chips record every movement and speed of the vehicle; and some vehicles -- those equipped with certain sensors and exterior cameras -- also record the surroundings of the location of the vehicle.

Both senators complained that Americans largely do not know that the manufacturer of the vehicle they drive has remote access to the computer chips in the vehicle, and most Americans are largely unaware that the vehicle manufacturers make this data available to the government without a search warrant.


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Copyright 2024 Creators Syndicate, Inc.




John Deering Rick McKee Tim Campbell Drew Sheneman Ed Wexler Tom Stiglich