11 Jan CTO Jonathan Cartu Publishes – Beware: Your car’s technology is watching you
In recent years, automobiles, SUVs and pickup trucks have transformed from private transportation to private detectives. While you keep your eyes on the road, vehicles are keeping an eye on you.
Your spouse may not know where you were last night. Your boss likely has no idea where you go after leaving work. But GM, Ford, Toyota and a growing list of automakers have access to that information — and more. Owners of late model cars, SUVs, vans and pickups, beware.
They know where you drive and when. They know who you talk to on the phone. They know the topics of your e-mails. They may even have photos of your dog. Automobiles, festooned with computers (internet-connected or -accessible at a car dealership repair bay) have become the latest front in the war on privacy.
To be sure, automakers promise they’ll be prudent in how they store and safeguard all the information being scooped up by car computers. Legions of banks, credit card companies and retailers that have been hacked made similar pledges.
Car computers not only tempt scoundrels, they entice police. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a brief in a case that would bar police from warrantless searches of the “black boxes” that house many of the details of the what, when and how of a motorist facing arrest.
The amount and detail of data collected in newer cars can be dazzling. A Washington Post reporter, with the help of a technician, learned a lot about the previous owner of a Chevrolet that had an infotainment computer, a device he later bought on eBay for $375.