You know about the “black box” (actually orange) that is on every jetliner. This lets the government know what happened after a crash. You know — the four boxes that somehow were never recovered in the 9-11 investigations. Remember now? Well, your car has one.
Your car tracks you, if you have a new car. It keeps information on your location and driving habits. The range of information keeps expanding.
It keeps this information for years.
Lawyers can access this information. So can the government.
You say you did not know this? You probably think your smartphone is as dumb as my dumbphone. It isn’t.
The auto industry has issued a calming press release, telling us this is for our own good. I love to read press releases like this one. “Be calm. Relax. Your eyes are getting heavy. You feel much better.”
The automotive industry is developing innovative technologies and services that promise to deliver substantial benefits and enhance the driving experience. These technologies and services may assist in enhancing safety, reducing the environmental impacts of vehicles, diagnosing vehicle malfunctions, calling for emergency assistance, detecting and preventing vehicle theft, reducing traffic congestion, improving vehicle efficiency and performance, delivering navigation services, providing valuable information services, and more. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, and their members are excited about the benefits offered by today’s vehicle technologies and services and look forward to expanding the array of innovative technologies and services offered to consumers.
Many of these technologies and services are based upon information obtained from a variety of vehicle systems and involve the collection of information about a vehicle’s location or a driver’s use of a vehicle. Consumer trust is essential to the success of vehicle technologies and services. The Alliance, Global Automakers, and their members understand that consumers want to know how these vehicle technologies and services can deliver benefits to them while respecting their privacy.
Privacy is important to consumers, and it is important to us. That is why the Alliance and Global Automakers have issued these Privacy Principles (“Principles”). The Principles provide an approach to customer privacy that members can choose to adopt when offering innovative vehicle technologies and services. Each member has made an independent decision about whether to adopt the Principles, and other companies may choose to adopt them as well. We provide a list of those companies that have adopted the Principles in the Appendix, and they are referred to as “Participating Members.”
The Principles apply to the collection, use, and sharing of Covered Information in association with Vehicle Technologies and Services available on cars and light trucks sold or leased to individual consumers for personal use in the United States.
Translation: “We are going to track your every move, but if we decide not to, we may stop doing it. Wink, wink.”