It would seem like progress and a loss of privacy go hand-in-hand. You’ve lost your privacy to companies and governments with your smartphone, social media, home energy meters that send data to your electricity provider and now your new car could be filled with the risks and benefits of connectivity.
New cars could gather information and send them back to the manufacturer in real-time. Telematics technology can help drivers foresee mechanical problems and avoid dangers on the road. The technology will also assist your car in getting to your destination faster, safer and more efficiently but the data being relayed also includes whether or not you were wearing your seatbelt during your trip, how long it took you to put it on (say, if the warning chime was active and you drove a few hundred metres before putting it on) and can even share contacts and images from your connected mobile phone (intentionally or accidentally)
Companies like Microsoft are developing and encouraging the connected vehicle as it claims it will benefit both owner and manufacturer, even suggesting to car manufacturers that the technology “Strengthen your relationship with customers through CRM integration and offer new, tailored experiences that increase brand loyalty.”
Connected cars are nothing new. General Motors developed the OnStar technology in the mid-90s that was rolled out to Saab, Chevrolet and Opel cars. The technology was hacked, and patched, in 2015.
If Wikileaks’ Vault 7 release was anything to go by, it may even be possible that government agencies could use the data to control your car or use the evidence against you.
The issue is not that technology is spying on you, it’s that there is no opt-out system. You have no choice other than not to upgrade.