[Politech] More on California may regulate car rental GPS tracking [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Apr 13 2004 - 22:12:47 PDT

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    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] California assemblywoman wants to regulate car 
    rentalGPS  tracking [priv]
    Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 19:56:37 -0600
    From: Chris May <chris@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    References: <407C0BCB.3090402@private>
    Since a GPS needs a roofmount antenna (or some other location looking at
    most of the sky), simply take an ordinary magnetic sign and overlay it.  Or
    use aluminum foil tape, but it's rather hard to remove.  Anyway, problem
    solved.  I doubt if the wireless device to unload the data talks to the OEM
    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: RE: [Politech] California assemblywoman wants to regulate car 
    rental GPS tracking [priv]
    Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 10:46:25 -0700
    From: Clay Jackson <clayj@private>
    To: 'Declan McCullagh' <declan@private>
    Hey, Declan...
    Having had some experiences with GPS (extensive travel with several
    different ones, as well as using them in Search and Rescue and Amateur Radio
    activities); I think anyone trying to use a GPS-based record to say someone
    was speeding would be easily challenged in court.   Except in ideal cases,
    or with VERY expensive hardware, the positioning/timing just isn't THAT
    accurate over long enough periods of time, due to terrain and other things
    that can block satellite reception.  Then, of course, there's the time
    change issue - if someone was traveling on the morning of the time change,
    and their speed was recorded at that time, some "interesting" results might
    be derived.
    On the OTHER hand, if a rental car company wanted to know what you had done
    with the car (in terms of acceleration, speed, braking, etc); all they'd
    need to do would be to ask the computer in the car.  Check out
    In fact, I'd bet that this is where the car companies are getting the data,
    NOT from a GPS...
    Clay Jackson
    Amateur Radio N7QNM
    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] California assemblywoman wants to regulate car 
    rental GPS tracking [priv]
    Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 11:22:28 -0600
    From: tim <omahamail@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    References: <407C0BCB.3090402@private>
      My two cents:  the rental company has the right to enforce their
    rental agreements.  If, for example, I let a friend borrow my car, I
    want to know that they're not going to be driving it recklessly and
    putting the vehicle in danger.  It's their car, and they can indeed
    tell you what you can and can't do with it.  Rental companies check the
    mileage when you return the car, so why shouldn't they be able to make
    sure you kept it in the state and weren't driving like a maniac?  (Not
    that I equate all speeding with driving like a maniac, just in extreme
      But consumers also have the right to have the rental agreements
    presented in human (non-lawyer) readable form, and to know that they're
    being tracked.  So my take on the issue is - keep the tracking, just
    tell people about it.
    On Apr 13, 2004, at 9:48 am, Declan McCullagh wrote:
    > http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-insider4apr04,1,1917817.column
    > April 4, 2004 	
    > Jane Engle:
    > Travel Insider
    > When you rent a car, does the company secretly track you?
    Tim Lloyd, omahamail@private
    "The eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the
    planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed
    by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace."
    -- John F. Kennedyr
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