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Your car is spying on you

The history of the car is a glorious one. The invention of the wheel was certainly a step in the right direction. But when the automobile was invented at the turn of the century, no one knew the capabilities that the travelling device would grow to have. Not only has it grown to become one of the most trusted means of transport, it has become a man’s best friend. The car is a status symbol, with the functionality of the car being a gauge of the livelihood of the person driving it. What people did not realize is the fact that it would one day become the object of a lot of controversy regarding privacy.

While the invention of the GPS was an important step in security and tracking, cars equipped with GPS might be doing a little more. They are sleek and smart, and many people prefer and feel safer in them. However, recent revelations seem to indicate that the GPS device might just be a little smarter than most of us think. According to car technology experts, the fact that one knows exactly where the person driving is at any one time might have enormous potential. One can be able to manipulate that information to acquire and sell personal information. The sale of personal information has the potential to make someone big money. Cars track people in much the same way as smart phones work today. Instances of the use of smart phones to obtain personal information are not new.

Targeted advertising services and marketing make it more lucrative. This is the reason why there is increased political goodwill in trying to curb this growing trend. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is leading the demand for federal regulations to control any potential privacy breaches. According to the senator, GPS devices, black boxes and vehicle to vehicle devices collect a lot of information that can be collected and sold by vehicle manufacturers. He calls on the relevant organizations, the national highway traffic safety administration and the federal trade commission to establish clear guidelines on the type of data that these devices can collect. His suggestions also go as far as giving drivers the option of opting out of such programs that collect their personal information.

There is some truth in these allegations of car spying and collecting information. If the car tracks everywhere the individual goes, then it knows the person’s favorite places. It tracks and records all the movement so it knows where the person unwinds during their free time, where they eat and who they visit. Car tracking even knows the favorite holiday destinations that people have. But do the car companies share this information? In his justification, the senator Schumer cites a study that was done by the government accountability office. It reveals that up to 90 per cent of the manufacturers of cars, security and tracking devices share the information they collect. And in this case it will be wise to use a universal 10 frequencies jammer because the car spying is  a worrying trend, and the fact that it takes advantage of devices that people trust to keep them safe makes it even worse.

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