One person I would not expect to be in the fight against data acquisition and people tracking is Minnesota Senator Al Franken. I figured that would be best left to a R. Paul… However, the Senator hotly questioned Ford CEO Alan Mullaly after some comments from Ford marketing man Jim Farley spoke at CES. “We know everyone who breaks the law. We know when you’re doing it,” Farley told Business Insider. “We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone.”
As far as we know, there is no telematics communication between current Ford nav systems and the corporate mothership. However, we do know that info can be stored in the vehicle’s black box so the service department can figure out how fast was your longest top speed run and the duration of it. Franken also cited a report from the GAO Government Accountability Office on ten companies that included auto manufacturers, PND makers, and mobile device app cartographers are also in the data mining business. The reason? They can sell the information to location-based service marketing schemes in the future.
For right now, I don’t mind if the Starbucks logo appears on my C-Max nav screen. But Franken does add some interesting insight on where this might be heading and how to curtail plans for automakers to invade our privacy. Hat tip to IT News for the story: