Most of the cars, trucks, and SUVs that are on the market today are jam-packed with all kinds of great technology designed to keep drivers safe and help them along their path. From GPS systems to driver alert systems, there are so many different bells and whistles that come standard in most vehicles. But could car manufacturers be using all of this technology to keep tabs on you? The Washington Post just published an explosive report that suggests they might be doing just that without you even realizing it.
According to the Washington Post, many car companies are keeping track of how fast people drive, where they are driving to, and even whether or not they are wearing their seatbelt on a regular basis simply by accessing the technology in their vehicles. The companies are, predictably, keeping quiet with regards to what they are then using that information for. But the thought is that some companies could potentially be giving or selling information to third-parties who could then use it to their advantage.
There are obviously privacy concerns that come along with this, as most people wouldn’t willingly give up information on themselves to car companies. But many of the car companies have argued that they only gather information when they get consent from drivers, even if the explanations about the consent are buried deep in buyers’ contracts and owners’ manuals. Additionally, many car companies insist they are only using the information they get from drivers in order to solve problems. They maintain that they can do things like alleviate traffic in certain cities by using information they get from the technology inside their vehicles.
The Washington Post estimates there are only about 10 million cars on the road today that are affected by this new development. Car companies aren’t keeping tabs on everyone just yet. But as more and more cars incorporate new forms of technology, we could certainly get to that point, and it raises some interesting questions about how much information car companies should be able to get out of drivers. It will be interesting to see how regulators decide to deal with this situation and how the car companies themselves respond to the controversy caused by the Washington Post report as we move forward.
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