FC: Richard Smith on GPS units, cars, and commercial tracking

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Feb 25 2002 - 22:51:27 PST

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    [If GPS tracking is being done for commercial purposes, and customers
    know what they're getting (most will), this doesn't seem to me to be a
    huge problem. If you don't like it, unplug it. True, the collected data
    can be stored and accessed via subponea, but some people may not
    care. Put another way, they may weigh the benefits of convenience over
    the cost of the (theoretical, for most people) privacy invasion. That's
    a different choice than I'd make, but that's their right. --Declan]
    From: "Richard M. Smith" <rmsat_private>
    To: <politechat_private>, <sesat_private>,
    Subject: RE: U.K. plans to track all drivers with GPS, charge fees; DNA data
    Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 22:41:02 -0500
    I am convinced that 10 years down the road, that GPS units will be
    standard equipment on all new cars.  It seems like there are many uses
    for a GPS unit in a car.  Some will be good news for the car owner and
    some will be not so good news.  Here's my list of likely uses for these
    black boxes:
       - Road tax collection system based on when, where, and how much
    someone drives
       - Car insurance payment system based on when, where, and how much
    someone drives
       - Parking fee collection system for both private and public spaces
       - Stolen or lost car location system
       - Black box for accident reconstruction
       - Travel information system (eg., Where's the nearest gas station?)
       - Travel directions
    The primary use of these boxes will be for commercial applications and
    not government snooping.
    The other standard piece equipment I expect to see on cars are
    electronic license plates similar to the Ez-Pass transponders used today
    to pay tolls on turnpikes and bridges.
    Richard M. Smith
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