Car Companies Want to Track Everything Drivers Do

Photo credit: Emran Kassim, CC BY 2.0.

Today in “well, I guess that’s the kind of world we live in now,” we go to the Washington Post:

Daniel Dunn was about to sign a lease for a Honda Fit last year when a detail buried in the lengthy agreement caught his eye.

Honda wanted to track the location of his vehicle, the contract stated, according to Dunn — a stipulation that struck the 69-year-old Temecula, Calif., retiree as a bit odd. But Dunn was eager to drive away in his new car and, despite initial hesitation, he signed the document, a decision with which he has since made peace.

As the WaPo explains, car companies can learn a lot about the people who drive their cars — from whether they wear their seatbelt to where they stop for lunch.

So these companies are adding data mining clauses into both lease and sales contracts, and the people signing those contracts may be unaware that their cars are collecting this information. (To be fair, it’s their responsibility to read any contracts or service agreements put in front of them. But we all know that people skip over the Terms of Service.)

Part of me is all “this is just how it’s going to be, from now on.” Everything that can track us, will — and I can’t even imagine how much information my phone and laptop already know about me.

The other part is ready to suggest that we all buy reliable old cars and learn how to keep them running.


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