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Ford Exec: 'We Know Everyone Who Breaks the Law' Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the they-know-what-you-did-last-summer dept.

Privacy 599

An anonymous reader sends this report from Business Insider: "[Ford VP Jim Farley] was trying to describe how much data Ford has on its customers, and illustrate the fact that the company uses very little of it in order to avoid raising privacy concerns: 'We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone,' he told attendees. Rather, he said, he imagined a day when the data might be used anonymously and in aggregate to help other marketers with traffic related problems. Suppose a stadium is holding an event; knowing how much traffic is making its way toward the arena might help the venue change its parking lot resources accordingly, he said." Farley later realized how his statement sounded, and added, "We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or consent."

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Herpin' the Derp (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45915715)

Farley later realized how his statement sounded, and added, "We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or consent."

Approval or consent, English-American, verb: To use. To accept the licensing terms. To look at. To think about.

Re:Herpin' the Derp (5, Insightful)

erikkemperman (252014) | about a year ago | (#45915749)

By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone,' he told attendees.

Well, until they show up with an NSL, in which case we'll supply the data forthwith. But don't worry, we'll still have to maintain we really don't.

Re:Herpin' the Derp (4, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45915795)

Well, until they show up with an NSL, in which case we'll supply the data forthwith. But don't worry, we'll still have to maintain we really don't.

NSL? Dude, why does everyone think it takes super secret letters from the government to get a corporation to whore on your personal data? I wasn't joking when I said cars these days have EULAs [ford.com] . To quote Ford's EULA covering this particular feature: Ford may use the vehicle information it collects, as well as information regarding individual access to Vehicle Health Reports at www.syncmyride.com for any purpose.

Re:Herpin' the Derp (4, Interesting)

erikkemperman (252014) | about a year ago | (#45915965)

Um, I never said you were incorrect about that EULA. I just wanted to point out that even when they would prefer not to hand over the data -- which is what this exec is saying, whether or not their license would formally allow them to -- there are cases in which 1) they don't have a choice in the matter and 2) the rest of us can't expect to find out about it.

Re:Herpin' the Derp (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#45915971)

how does that work for used car purchases?

I seriously doubt that any original owner agreements would be binding. in fact, 'ford' won't know who the current owner is, only the dealer-based buyer's identity. the gov will know (due to registration and tags) though.

the more I hear about modern cars self-spying, the more I want to keep my very old car running and in good condition.

Where have we seen this before? (4, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#45916027)

OnStar has used Madison Avenue to convince auto purchasers of the safety and security advantages of always being monitored,

completely failing to mention the compromise in freedom.

Re:Herpin' the Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915995)

Yeah, who reads a EULA for a car?!

And you KNOW that the salespeople would NEVER offer it.

Re:Herpin' the Derp (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#45915891)

I'm assuming the "approval and consent" is buried somewhere in very small print and the default value is "accept".

I'm also guessing his company is very unhappy with him right now.

Re:Herpin' the Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916055)

It's not just Ford... it's ALL cell phone companies. If you're going on highway with your cellphone turned on (forget gps, they just need your cellphone on), they know you're "going too fast".

At least Ford explicitly said they don't track `you'. Cellphone companies on the other hand do and even sell your location data to marketers...and they have it real time!

Next shocker: mobile providers msg the troopers in the area if your speed is an outlier on the highway.

Re:Herpin' the Derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916125)

f you're going on highway with your cellphone turned on (forget gps, they just need your cellphone on), they know you're "going too fast".

They don't need my cell phone to know I'm going to fast. They just need to know I'm on the highway.

Well (4, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year ago | (#45915719)

I guess that's one way of getting yourself fired.

Re:Well (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45915755)

Fired, CEO, def.: To be given a bonus. To be handed large amounts of money. Given an early retirement with free company-provided yachts.

Fired, you, def.: To be fucked. Screwed. Rendered destitute. Forced to sell everything of value and told you are a drain on the resources of society.
--

No matter how badly a CEO fucks up, they still get a "punishment" that's far in excess of any reward you'll likely get for your entire career, no matter how big the contribution.

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915903)

Ooh! Try this one: nictate

Re:Well (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916063)

I have no idea what you mean, but you're a fucking stupid piece of shit - a cock juggling thunder cunt. I hope you die in a fire, you vile, basement-dwelling, ...
Could you clarify your comment?

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916067)

Don't nictate. Nictate and you're dead. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't nictate.

Re:Well (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year ago | (#45915991)

Recognizing this fact is one.
Coming up with a solution is a completely different matter.

The solution will never happen. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916117)

The solution will never happen. There is only two ways it'll happen:

1. Boards stop that horseshit but they won't. They'll take care of their buddies and BS the shareholders by saying "We NEED to offer those compensation packages in order to get the best talent." And we all know that CEO talent has very little to do with business performance - although, the runup of Yahoo! because Meyer being hired - and no improvement in company fundamentals - showed the stupidity of Wall Street.

2. Regulation - which won't happen because the majority of Americans are under the delusion that all they have to do is work harder and they can one day be in that position and therefore; any laws in that regard will hurt them down the line. And also, the propaganda about "Socialism" and what have you from the business/money'ed class' mouthpieces in the media.

Re:Well (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45916157)

Normally, I'd like a sarcastic oblique reference to the french revolution, guillotines or the like, but knowing how some people are about the cars, I'd genuinely worry someone would try to kill this poor fool.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916113)

Well that got old quickly.

Re:Well (5, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#45916123)

Fired, you, def.: To be fucked. Screwed. Rendered destitute. Forced to sell everything of value and told you are a drain on the resources of society.

Synonym: Married.

Re:Well (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916147)

See also: Divorced.

Why does Ford need this data? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#45915729)

What I want to know is, Why does Ford need this data? I understand why people would have a GPS in their car, and why a recording of their actions might be stored on the car (although even more than a short history should be easily erased), but why doesn't this information need to be transmitted back to the car company at all? I bet most people, when asked about whether or not they want a GPS system are not told that the GPS will send information back to the manufacturer about their every movement.

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (4, Insightful)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about a year ago | (#45915771)

Customers don't generally report casual breakdowns, for example. Also, habit trends can help with designing newer models. You'll always get a better picture of your customers' habits with transparent metrics.

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (5, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45915857)

Customers don't generally report casual breakdowns, for example. Also, habit trends can help with designing newer models. You'll always get a better picture of your customers' habits with transparent metrics.

Let's not forget that a complete history of your driving habits can be sold to third parties for a nice profit. Oh, did I mention by third parties I mean anyone, ever? You don't need a search warrant... just pay the $5 to get a complete "enhanced driver profile". I know what you're thinking: Aren't there laws against this? Maybe, but you agreed to let them do whatever they want when you turned the key and drove it off the lot; says so in the small print [ford.com] .

When you run a Vehicle Health Report, Ford Motor Company may collect your cell phone number (to process your report request) and diagnostic information about your vehicle. Certain versions or updates to Vehicle Health Report may also collect additional vehicle information. Ford may use the vehicle information it collects, as well as information regarding individual access to Vehicle Health Reports at www.syncmyride.com for any purpose.

This data helps Repo guys steal the car back (2, Informative)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year ago | (#45916053)

One reason car companies collect this data is to steal the car back from you (repossess it) in the event of non-payment. The GPS tracking is often turned over to the Repo operators when they need to go steal your car back.

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915871)

You'll always get a better picture of your customers' habits with transparent metrics.

TOO FUCKING BAD!!!!

Unless the users explicitly signed up to allow Ford to collect and retain this, they should have no fucking legal right to have it.

This implicit consent is bullshit, and the complete lack of privacy laws (so corporations can make more fucking money) is bullshit.

Someone should need to explicitly opt-in for this kind of this, and have it spelled out very clearly.

Goose ... Gander ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916045)

You'll always get a better picture of your customers' habits with transparent metrics.

Investors would always get a better picture of companies health with transparent accounting. Think there's a snowball's chance of that?

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916151)

You'll always get a better picture of your customers' habits with transparent metrics.

Funny, but that's exactly what our government says about their clandestine data gathering.

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (3, Interesting)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about a year ago | (#45915797)

"What I want to know is, Why does Ford need this data?"

Their robot car department probably needs it, at the very least.

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about a year ago | (#45915839)

Doesn't Ford support an Operator Assistance thing? They use a built in GPS for sending a tow to you or help you with directions etc.

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#45915851)

What I want to know is, Why does Ford need this data?

Of course they don't need it. My ten year old ford isn't sending them any info, but they were still quite capable of making cars a decade ago.

The issue is why they want it, and it's because data is valuable. From a vehicle manufacturer's point of view it's actually most useful in anonymous aggregate. They are interested in trends. If they see lots of warranty claims, they may be able to isolate them to a group of drivers with similar driving style then mitigate this in future product designs.

From a business perspective, they will always be looking at new markets like the one suggested by the exec.

The biggest issue for me is the absolute lack of data protection laws in the US. There is an urgent need for some default rules that determine what can and cannot be done with customer data.

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915883)

Because certain people have lobbied for it and have a "working relationship" with Ford. Because Ford gets paid - either in money or "services in kind".

Because paid-for politicians have not outlawed it.

Re:Why does Ford need this data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916159)

So that the FBI, ATF, DEA, etc. have a cover for putting a GPS in your vehicle. If the manufacturer already has a GPS in the car, all those agencies have to do is request the records from the manufacturer. No hassle with sneaking one of their own, more obvious GPS units onto the car, it's already there. Ford is doing this in the interest of national security, so they can help the douch-- I mean agencies out.

I was going to need a new car soon and had seriously considered a Ford. This just made that decision easier.

Of course they collect the data... (1)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about a year ago | (#45915741)

...they would be fools not to. It's worth its proverbial weight in... well, nothing else is that valuable.

What he really means is they don't share it. But for their own purposes it's a pretty sure bet they analyze the hell out of it.

Re: Of course they collect the data... (1)

ragarwal (1391171) | about a year ago | (#45915807)

The "executive" has clearly stated that the data may be potentially shared with marketers. Once shared, there is no telling how many time the data is resold, not just to the highest bidder, but to every bidder, in a decreasing order of return, with or without a NDA in place.

Point taken. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915751)

Don't buy ford.

Re:Point taken. (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#45915811)

Who do you buy your supplies from when every corporation is intrusive?

Every thread at slashdot has some snide NSA comment, and that's understandable. Slashdot tends to be more enlightened, but there are far fewer snide comments and corporate entities being intrusive with data (and the ones there are tend to be about Google and Facebook).

However, if EVERY corporation is intrusive (and car companies will all be if they aren't already) then where do you go? Do you buy from Huffy? Huffy will probably put GPS in their frames.

The idiot comment about OWS was always "but.. but... but... they buy stuff from corporations!" But what else can you do if you live in the U.S. Do you go out and live in a shack like the Unibomber?

Re:Point taken. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#45916071)

Personally, I'm going to take a page from Cuba and continue driving and maintaining old cars. I'm not sure what year the real cutoff should be, but (conservatively) most cars built before 2000 should be safe. (It might be possible to get something as new as 2005 or so, but would require research to make sure. Remember, even if the car doesn't have something obviously intrusive like OnStar or Sync, it may still have a "black box.")

Re:Point taken. (5, Insightful)

thoth (7907) | about a year ago | (#45916165)

Who do you buy your supplies from when every corporation is intrusive?
[...]
However, if EVERY corporation is intrusive (and car companies will all be if they aren't already) then where do you go?

Depends on who you ask. The Ayn-Randian-objectivist-anarcho-liberterian-conservative-capitalists, who have complete faith in the correctness of the free market even in the absence of government regulations, believe that the free market itself will solve this: eventually, corporations that don't monetize everything about you, will emerge and compete for the business of people who care about stuff like how their data is used. They will charge slightly higher prices to offset the profit they lose by not selling your data.

Otherwise, those of us that don't live in a theoretical or academic fantasy land, will instead seek laws/regulations to limit this behavior.

Re:Point taken. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915861)

In fact, don't buy any car. And while we're at it, never pay for public transport with anything else than cash. Those fancy smart cards will track you. Oh and never use a credit or debit card, only cash, never own a cell phone and never use an internet connection (unless you pirate one from a neighbour).

Obviously, we have a choice. Either we seek help to cure our paranoia, or we all choose an Amish life.

Re:Point taken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915919)

"Oh and never use a credit or debit card, only cash"

Why use cash when you can use Bitcoin?

(Since "NSA" had already worked its way into this thread, I thought I'd throw in "Bitcoin" to help further the recurring rhetoric here.)

Re: Re:Point taken. (5, Insightful)

rnturn (11092) | about a year ago | (#45915989)

``... or we all choose an Amish life.

Boy oh boy... there are some days that this doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Re: Re:Point taken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916075)

``... or we all choose an Amish life.

Boy oh boy... there are some days that this doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

Those days usually coincide with my visits to a local Amish market when I'm reminded that Amish women can be both hot and darn good in the kitchen.

Re:Point taken. (2)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#45916145)

Don't buy ford.

Easier solution: don't pay for overpriced features in a car: navigation & communications systems. WTF would I pay for a nav system in a car when I have one on my phone or tablet?

Except . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915785)

Except by court order, public or secret.

Where is the transmission system do the data can be prevented from being sent? How can one flash erase the dongle or box?

Papers pleze.

Having owned 2 Ford vehicles in the past... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915789)

I for one will never buy a Ford again.

And that is why.... (4, Insightful)

pngwen (72492) | about a year ago | (#45915791)

I, an active professor and research scientist, drive a 1982 Dodge Ram Pickup. No tracking, no disconnect, easy to work on engine. I will keep this baby going for the rest of my life, and no company will be tracking my whereabouts. (So long as I remember to turn off my cell phone, which I usually do.)

Re:And that is why.... (3, Interesting)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year ago | (#45915911)

I will keep this baby going for the rest of my life, and no company will be tracking my whereabouts.

Until your car doesn't pass the upcoming environmental (read: tracking) regulations.

Re:And that is why.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916019)

I don't know where you live, but where I live the government has never outlawed existing domestic vehicles. New environmental standards are always applied to new vehicles.

If tracking becomes compulsory (or effectively so) it will be the insurance companies that did it.

Re:And that is why.... (1)

Shabbs (11692) | about a year ago | (#45915927)

My 2002 "low tech, no frills, 5-speed manual shift" Dodge Dakota is looking better and better these days. Heh.

Re:And that is why.... (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about a year ago | (#45915955)

Aha! We have found you! (cue rapellers dropping from the ceiling and dangerous music).

Re:And that is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915963)

You mean remove the battery from the phone, right? I hope you don't have an iDevice ;)

Re:And that is why.... (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about a year ago | (#45915977)

And no money left once you buy gas for 1000 km.

Re:And that is why.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#45916129)

And no money left once you buy gas for 1000 km.

You might be surprised; I used to have a 1989 GMC Sierra that got almost the same mileage as the 2009 Sierra I drive now.

Mileage in trucks hasn't really changed much the last 20 years or so.

Re:And that is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916005)

no company will be tracking my whereabouts

Just the government, via license plate readers.....

And via your RFID tires. It's The Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916121)

no company will be tracking my whereabouts

Just the government, via license plate readers.....

Don't forget the RFID embedded in your tires http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?269 [rfidjournal.com] thanks to the TREAD (Transportation, Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation) Act passed in the wake of the Firestone/Ford Explorer news stories. The act mandates that car makers closely track tires from the 2004 model year on, so they can be recalled if there's a problem.

Re:And that is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916033)

Until it will be illegal to drive a vehicle without GPS tracking included.

Re:And that is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916047)

Wait until it doesn't pass emissions testing. They will get your piece of shit ride of the road one day buddy.

Re:And that is why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916061)

And you take off / cover your number plates....

Re:And that is why.... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#45916089)

you mean, removing the battery from your phone. turning it off is not enough and even airplane mode likely can be disabled given the right app and privs.

Re:And that is why.... (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#45916167)

I, an active professor and research scientist, drive a 1982 Dodge Ram Pickup. No tracking, no disconnect, easy to work on engine. I will keep this baby going for the rest of my life, and no company will be tracking my whereabouts. (So long as I remember to turn off my cell phone, which I usually do.)

Even my 2014 Honda Pilot can't track me - I didn't pay them for an overpriced navigation system when I have one on my iPad. And I don't have a data plan with my iPad (I use a nav program with downloaded maps), so no one is tracking me.

These are fighting words (3, Interesting)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#45915803)

As a consumer, why would this entice me to purchase a car from Ford?

Re:These are fighting words (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#45915941)

As a consumer, why would this entice me to purchase a car from Ford?

At this point, the question you gotta ask yourself is: what other manufacturers are also doing this but haven't accidentally mentioned it in a public forum? Not buying Ford might punish Ford, true. But it might punish Ford not so much for doing it as to admitting it. (But that's your business as a consumer, of course. You can buy or not buy anything for any reason or no reason at all. I don't know which one I'd pick.)

Long time ago, I interviewed for a job and the boss told me that he really didn't have that good of a method to honestly evaluate employees. So raises tended to go to the employees he thought were working the hardest and thus the most productive. And those employees were the ones he saw the most. In turning down the position, I wondered if I was giving up working for an honest boss in favor of a liar who would do the same thing but not admit to it. (For closure purposes, I found a middle ground: the boss admitted to the "face time" thing after I signed on.)

If I ever own a Ford.... (1)

LF11 (18760) | about a year ago | (#45915805)

The first thing I'll be doing is hunting around with ball-peen hammer for the GPS module.

The end.

Re:If I ever own a Ford.... (1)

Blymie (231220) | about a year ago | (#45915939)

The sad truth is, it.. and everything else, is in on box/chip.

The best bet may be to ground the antenna, but how much do you want to bet it will be difficult to do? Even then, I bet all the data gets slurped at warranty service / repair time...

Re:If I ever own a Ford.... (5, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#45915981)

The first thing I'll be doing is hunting around with ball-peen hammer for the GPS module.

The end.

Not if you have a spouse. [Annoyed grunt] They really don't care for principled economic losses (in this case, resale value). Ignorance-based losses (like not changing the oil) they're cool with. Principle, no.

Approval & Consent (5, Insightful)

Diddlbiker (1022703) | about a year ago | (#45915813)

Meaning it's listed somewhere in the bill of sale. "Well you bought the car, didn't you? There's your consent"

Re:Approval & Consent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915875)

When would I have provided consent if I purchased the car used from a private party?

I can't wait for nav screens to become standard equipment, if for no other reason than to serve up the EULA...

Well, Ford does not track. But they keep the data. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915823)

Ford does not track their customers without their consent and approval. However if you will bother to go through fine print, you may (or may not) find clauses related diagnostic, monitoring. Sort of your consent, in a case of crash (similar to MS Windows crash report). So basically, consent is implied and if you dig deep enough auto companies have been doing this for a long time.

When ford says, that they do not track, this is comparable to NSA saying that, the fact that they do no track. Well, if you own the data then there is no need to track, because you already have it.

Ford and NSA doing the same thing touted by IT business: dealing with the Big Data. Big Data is being analyzed, used in various models.

The bottom line: your car and your phone know you better than yourself.

Re:Well, Ford does not track. But they keep the da (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#45915933)

Of course they don't track the customer. What they track is the vehicle,,, and the vehicle has no rights.

EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915835)

"By using the car you consent to the collection and processing of tracking and telemetry data.."

They will use the data in court (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915837)

Driving data is already being used in court when an accident is involved. Now the police can look at your driving habits during a traffic stop.

Crime (4, Interesting)

neoform (551705) | about a year ago | (#45915855)

If Ford knows people are committing crimes, aren't they legally required to report it, otherwise they become an accessory..?

Re:Crime (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#45916017)

If Ford knows people are committing crimes, aren't they legally required to report it, otherwise they become an accessory..?

You're trying to use logic in the realm of Law. That doesn't work. Further, you're trying to extrapolate laws to corporations (and government protected organizations at that). You're setting yourself up for a fail.

Re:Crime (3, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#45916023)

If Ford knows people are committing crimes, aren't they legally required to report it, otherwise they become an accessory..?

All that's left now is to send the monthly fine statements to each owner.

And to figure out how to use the three seashells.

Re:Crime (1)

Vicarius (1093097) | about a year ago | (#45916093)

If Ford knows people are committing crimes, aren't they legally required to report it, otherwise they become an accessory..?

They didn't say anything about "crime". Ford probably knows only your location and speed you were going, i.e. they know if you are speeding and breaking the law. Most likely they put in that system, so that people who get into accidents cannot claim it was Ford's manufacturing defect that caused the accident.

Does Ford obey court orders? (3, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#45915863)

Farley later realized how his statement sounded, and added, "We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or consent."

So, if Ford gets a court order requiring the tracking of someone, or some class of someones, they will disobey it?

Sure. And all Fords get 1000 miles per gallon, too.

Look for the scenes in new mob movies where part of the initiation into the mafia is taking the GPS out of your car.

Re:Does Ford obey court orders? (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#45916131)

I would simply install jammers in my own car. unless you disassemble the car down to metal, you may not find all the 'bugs' in there. otoh, a powerful transmitter can block reception of the gps and render any local bugs 'mute' (sic).

Vechile Miles Driven Tax, GPS to every car (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915865)

Bull. They want the data because others (three-letter organizations) want it and secretly lobbied for it. They don't want the consumers to fully realize this.

This data is also exactly the reason why there seems to be a major push towards taxing driving based on miles - with GPS tracking, obviously.

US-centric look; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_miles_traveled_tax

Same is being pushed around the EU and already in use in some limited areas. Sure, they (three letter organizations, governments) get SOME of the data today but it depends on car manufacturers and on the car having the specific feature. If they can get this kind of tax lobbied (as a replacement to taxing fuel and/or purchase of cars), they can get GPS tracking bits mandatory to every vehicle that comes off the assembly lines (and mandatory retrofit to existing ones) - and all the data comes straight to the tax man, and we know that data used for taxation would never be used for anything else :sarcasm:

This is also being "sold" as a solution to governments that see fuel consumption based tax income potentially going down if/when electric cars become popular. Can't exactly tax the electricity a lot more without major side-effects, so tax by miles driven instead.

PATRIOT/FISA Amendments acts moot "consent" (1)

doas777 (1138627) | about a year ago | (#45915897)

So how exactly is the customers consent/approval meaningful, if the data is collected anyway, and any yahoo at NSA/DHS can demand it on a massive scale without any warrent whatsoever?

stolen car location (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915907)

So...next time my Ford is stolen, I just need to call Ford and they can tell me where it is right ?
They can probably patch the police into the in-car mic and listen to the thieves, perhaps even talk to to them.

"This is the Tampa police department. You are being tracked , pull over and turn off the car..." ... then remote lock the doors till the cruiser gets there..
interesting...

You bought it, you implied consent... (1)

realsilly (186931) | about a year ago | (#45915923)

Key thing is "Implied".

But then again how is this any different then the "Black Box" in the car?

Don't get me wrong, I disagree with the Black Box and the GPS tracking. I think that we, as a nation, haven't screamed loud enough at our leadership to tell them to get out of our lives.

Hell, as a nation, we've elected these bastards who have basically told us to Bend over and Take it.

Re:You bought it, you implied consent... (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#45916115)

correction: we didn't elect anyone. the folks who would stand up to the gov and fight for our privacy never make it to the "I am going to run for office" level. they are filtered out before we even hear of them wanting to be in governmment.

and so, if we choose kang or kodos, our privacy is not part of their concern.

there is no choice, here. don't blame the public! this happens at the 'inner circle' level of power, which you and I will likely never see, directly, but be aware of it, indirectly.

Methane (2)

messymerry (2172422) | about a year ago | (#45915935)

I wonder if they are going to put methane detectors in the seat cushions? ...and smoke detectors???

"help the venue change its parking lot resources" (1)

a2wflc (705508) | about a year ago | (#45915953)

another way of saying "jack up parking fees".

Omniscience how? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45915957)

How does having my gps data give Ford the ability to "know everyone who breaks the law" and "know when you're doing it"?

That's a rather impressive feat. How exactly does this magical gps data tell them person A ran a red light, person B robbed a convenience store, person C committed murder, ...?

Remove it (1)

techstar25 (556988) | about a year ago | (#45915967)

It can't be that hard to disable or remove the GPS. I'm sure anyone who can assemble their own computer (which is probably everybody at Slashdot) could do it in an hour. My assumption is that it won't be illegal to tamper with either.

Re:Remove it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916073)

GPS is not 2 way communication. How exactly are they retrieving the information from a car? Do they have a secret cellular connection?

Re:Remove it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916153)

I guess it's really not that simple. opening a computer case is nothing compared to tearing down your dashboard.

even if you know where to look, you have to open up the right computer (there are several) and know how to disable the GPS module. my best guess is that it's not a simple PCI/USB/ISA/Serial/socket based device, but a part of the radio/dash/entertainment system.
so removing that entire computer might also disable the AC or radio controls on your steering wheel. and removing/disabling a soldered on GPS unit on a brand new computer might not be feasible for the average slashdot reader.

Car hacking to become a thing (0)

Terry95 (2690775) | about a year ago | (#45915969)

I seriously doubt Ford is alone, unique, or even special. On-Star has been spying on everyone for > 10 years. Remember that gangster they prosecuted after having On-Star bug his car. Technically they had a warrant and all but that decreases the creepy factor exactly none!

I expect the short term to see a big rise in casual car modding to disable these devices - everything from simple breaking to special modules to feed the thrice damned spy whatever it needs to hear to keep the engine running (like yes I drove 40,000 miles circling the Ford Corporate headquarters).

OF COURSE government is probably already collecting this data but regardless of promises, executive orders, laws, or international treaties that will continue unabated. If you think otherwise you really have learned nothing at all from history. And where one group of "legal" criminals go the "illegal" ones will soon follow. I don't see a commercial model for a product to stalk your girlfriend, but that doesn't mean it won't be done. How about real time tracking for the people who make the bank deposits? I'm not criminally minded enough to come up with a good use case, but the ONLY way to prevent abuse is to NOT collect the data AT ALL!!!!! If you collect it someone, someday, somehow will use it to harm others.

In other words ... (1)

Iconoc (2646179) | about a year ago | (#45915973)

All your bases are belong to us.

Re:In other words ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916137)

BASE! Not bases. BASE!

Go back to Engrish classes, and leave your geek card on your way out!

There was a time when I called out an American poster for using a Spanish-language expression incorrectly, and the guy practically jumped at me and attempted to bite my throat with a foamy mouth, accusing me of being a gringo hater. But here on Slashdot we can make fun of Oriental people's broken English with absolute impunity.

Sucking up your data is one thing... (1)

jddeluxe (965655) | about a year ago | (#45915987)

...but Ford Sync is actually running Windows Embedded Automotive for an OS. Like some malware/zero day exploits with that while you're doing 70 mph (112 kph)???

Re:Sucking up your data is one thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916085)

...but Ford Sync is actually running Windows Embedded Automotive for an OS. Like some malware/zero day exploits with that while you're doing 70 mph (112 kph)???

while you're doing 70 mph (112 km/h)???

There, FTFY.

I don't care (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916029)

I don't care because I don't break the law. In fine this could lead to safer roads if they share these infos with law enforcement.

The "have nottin' to hide" crowd... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916037)

...does not care. At least until they get the first ticket or court summons based on that data...

used this before (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916043)

Ma'am either your indicator light is busted or you did not use it, either way your car computer would know in case you had hit me.

Approval and Consent... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45916101)

On page 9 about two thirds of the way down ... "By purchasing this car, you approve and consent to our data collection practices"

Yeah... Consent... that's what they call it.

Learn to read a Map!!! (2)

zenlessyank (748553) | about a year ago | (#45916105)

Learn to read a map. Has worked for thousands of years. Enemy can't see your eyes looking at page when you are by yourself. And as someone said earlier, drive a car that doesn't have all that crap on it and keep it maintained from good ol' AutoZone. My car doesn't have any electronic monitoring crap on it. You have to stick key into trunk to get it open. I can spend 2 months worth of car payments to keep it repaired all year. I have no sympathy for the sheeple anymore. I hope they are watching you ALL the time........... It is a disgrace to be an American. Downvote away, bitches!!!

Conflicting statements, no? (1)

rnturn (11092) | about a year ago | (#45916149)

How can he say that ``we know when you break the law (I'm assuming he means the speed limit) and when you're doing it'' and ``We don't track you without your concent''?

Mr. CEO... one of statements makes you an effin' liar.

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