Eric Peters points out the downside to all these new-fangled car gadgets and systems.
There is a saying that goes, if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. But what if you’re paying for it – and you’re still the product?
Welcome to your next new car – previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas earlier this month – in which you’ll be surrounded by new technology designed to “monetize” everything from your musical preferences (it knows which stations you like) to where you like to go (it keeps track of where and when) and what you like to eat.
. . .
That data [will be] used to construct a pastiche of your inclinations, which will then be sold to a company interested in trying to sell you something based on that knowledge of your inclinations.
And the insurance mafia is interested as well. Have you been buckling up? Accelerating – or braking – “aggressively”? It’s no longer just between the two of you – you and your car.
Your car is now a narc – one you get to pay to narc you out.
. . .
One of the companies developing this tech, Eyeris, uses artificial intelligence in conjunction with the cameras and sensors – to calculate what you are likely to do based on what you’ve already done – and then take the appropriate steps to correct for “undesirable behavior.”
The Partie Line is, of course . . . saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.
You are to be monitored and catalogued for your own good, in your own car.
. . .
We are to have no say in the matter. We are like cattle given the “choice” of Chute A vs. Chute B – but never the option to leave the corral.
There's more at the link.
This infuriates me. We can't even switch off many of these intrusive systems because, increasingly, the car's central computer won't allow it to be driven unless all its "safety" systems are operational. I'm told that even putting a piece of tape over the in-car camera, pointed at the driver, will register as an error with the central computer, which won't let you drive off until the tape is removed. I hope that's not the case, because if it is, I won't be able to drive anywhere!
I'm determined never to submit to this kind of intrusive monitoring. I guess I'll just have to buy older cars lacking such technology, and keep them running as long as I can. Fortunately, I'm at an age where I may be able to do so until I die . . . but younger people today will probably be S.O.L.
I resent, bitterly, the invasions of my privacy that have been growing year by year, allowing me no say in whether or not I'm prepared to permit them. To the extent possible, I block them. I'm an old-fashioned guy, who believes in personal privacy and is prepared to invest in it to the extent I can. Unfortunately, such attitudes appear to be vanishing among modern young people. They've been raised in an era of corporate and government intrusiveness, to such an extent that they see little or nothing wrong with it. They even pay for voice-operated and/or "smart" gadgets in their homes, to make their lives more "convenient" - forgetting that those same gadgets can record anything and everything they do, and make it available to marketers and others. Want a passionate evening with your lover? If you have one of those gizmos in your bedroom, there will be a record of it - and who knows who may listen to it? If a divorce results from your behavior, will a lawyer obtain a court order to get a copy of it, and play it in open court to prove infidelity? What will that do to your reputation?
*Sigh* . . . I feel like a technological and ethical dinosaur. Oh, well. Extinction is something we all face, sooner or later. I hope mine arrives before I become nothing more than a digit in the global, all-encompassing system. At least I can go out extending a more appropriate digit to all concerned!