[Politech] California assemblywoman wants to regulate car rental GPS tracking [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Apr 13 2004 - 08:48:27 PDT

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    We covered this on Politech in 2001:
    > Turner's really suing Acme Rent-A-Car on Whalley Avenue in New Haven
    > for cozying up with Big Brother. He's trying to recoup a $450 charge
    > for allegedly speeding on his way to Virginia in an Acme minivan. The
    > van was equipped with a Global Positioning System, or GPS, which
    > transmits data via satellite. It clocked him "going at speeds in
    > excess of 90 mph on three separate occasions," according to court
    > papers. The internal device did, but the cops didn't.
    April 4, 2004 	
    Jane Engle:
    Travel Insider
    When you rent a car, does the company secretly track you?
    Some vehicles are 'bugged' without the driver's knowledge. A California 
    bill would require notification.
    If you care about your privacy or your pocketbook, ask whether your 
    rental car has electronic tracking equipment and what it's used for. The 
    answers may surprise you  if you can get them.
    Since I last wrote about this issue in 2002, more rental cars have been 
    fitted with such systems, which can instantly relay information on your 
    car's speed, route and position to the rental company. This is done by 
    wireless devices and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers that 
    pinpoint location. Rental companies say they use the devices mainly to 
    track stolen vehicles.
    A flurry of lawsuits two years ago accused a Budget Rent a Car licensee 
    in Tucson of using such a system to covertly track renters who took cars 
    out of state and to fine them thousands of dollars. Earlier, another 
    rental company in New Haven, Conn., allegedly tracked renters who drove 
    faster than 79 mph and fined them.
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