Thanks to "consent" buried deep in sales agreements, car manufacturers are tracking tens of millions of US cars


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/22/cars-watching-you.html


#2

What happens when the original owner re-sells the car? I guarantee that the new owner will not have signed this.


#3

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#4

So does that mean my Honda has a touch screen, GPS chip, and cellular antenna in it, but no navigation with live traffic updates feature?


#5

I was also wondering about this…In theory, if you purchase one of these “connected” cars, you may have a privacy lawsuit if you can prove they are collecting data about you.


#6

When my wife got her last car, the dealer’s delivery specialist spent an hour or two showing her how all the whizzbang features work. Upon getting home, she had four separate email messages confirming that she had assented to four distinct privacy and service agreements that she’d never seen or even been made aware of. Methinks the delivery specialist “agreed” to these on her behalf.


#7

If the “consent” is buried in the warranty, and that warranty is transferable…


#8

Should be enough for a car:


#9

Guy driving convertible + bird flying overhead = the real fun (about to begin).


#10

HAHAHAHA. Yeah.


#11

Maybe the Old Order Amish got it right after all.

That horse and buggy is beginning to sound a lot better.


#12

With this issue being identified, isn’t there a simple wire to cut, fuse to pull, or wifi antenna to wrap with aluminum foil? (I’m going to assume there’s no “Settings” check box in software.)

But then again, if you choose to do so, you’re probably defeating all the navigational features of the car. (You’re probably not defeating software update features: it seems like every car company on Earth except Tesla gouges you and makes you trundle into the dealership to update the car’s software.)


#13

And when the warranty expires, what then? I’m imagining a future where people buy a used car old enough to be out of all warranties, disabling any ability of the car to phone home, then getting sued by the car manufacturer. At that point, I’m not sure what would happen. Would the auto manufacturer even have standing to bring a suit?


#14

I was worried that in the age of autonomous cars, passengers would be subject to unprecedented surveillance and tracking of their movement. Turns out I needn’t have worried - it’s already true! Whew!


#15

A bicycle is more fun, doesn’t require care and feeding, and smells better. I have yet to sign any kind of agreement when buying one.


#16


#17

This will, as far as I’ve understood, be clearly illegal under the soon-in-effect EU GDPR, since it requires explicit consent (that is, it has to default to “no” and complying can’t be a simple clickthrough), explained in an easy-to-understand and clear way, explicitly listing what the data will be used for and who it will be shared with. The penalties are very stiff (percentages of company income and the like), so to sell cars in Europe they will either have to comply or stop. Complying requires not just the above, but also easily found contact info for a responsible human you can contact to know what they have on you; a way to ask them to delete all of it, and a way to get a copy (in a convenient format, even).


#18

I’m not sure that would make a difference. Certainly with many consumer products, it could be argued that any later sale was only selling the set if rights that the original purchaser had, which wouldn’t include the right to keep your privacy. That would be a stretch, but that is the argument they’d make. But in most states cars have the title transferred. I would argue that the property rights transferred are therefore defined by the state.


#19

Really? You folks act like this is new. Anyone who has a car with Onstar has had your data collected and that has been available for over a decade. They always know where you are and what you are doing and could predict what you are going to do next based on previous behavior. That’s one way they can to target advertising. You also voluntarily consent when you plug in those devices from the insurance companies like Snapshot from Progressive that give you a discount for safe driving by collecting your driving data. Even your tires send data about air pressure and speed. If you own a modern car, your personal information is being collected by private industries a lot more insidious and a lot more inclined to use it than the NSA. They are only in it for the money.


#20

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