When it first appeared GPS technology wasn’t much more than a curiosity for the technically minded.  It wasn’t too long before GPS devices started becoming available as map tools that can not only show you where you are, but help you get to a particular location.  Now these features are expanding.  They can help you find businesses or points of interest no matter where you go.

And as helpful as these things have the potential to be, they can also be one of the means by which our privacy is restricted.  How?  By keeping a record of where you go and when.  It’s actually possible to do this now since memory has become a cheap as it is.  Manufacturers can easily include enough flash memory to allow the devices to archive considerable amounts of data.  Including a short range communication system wouldn’t be much of a bother either.  Then the accumulated data could be collected silently anytime you drive within range of a data collection station.  Such stations could be positioned in major traffic areas of cities which would allow them to eventually download the logs from any of their devices that drive by.

I can even see where this would be offered as a “service” that allows them to give you information that’s relevant to your driving habits.. tell you about sales and specials in stores that you normally drive to and so on.

The biggest potential is in vehicles that have OnStar and similar systems in them.  The operators of that “service” have the ability to turn on the transmitter and listen to anything in the car -without anyone knowing-, they can shut down the car and make it un-drivable “in the event of theft” (but what else might it be used for? eh?)

Currently we drive a car that doesn’t have this kind of technology in it however sooner or later, even though we use older cars, it’s going to get harder and harder to get one that doesn’t have OnStar type devices in it.  The question then is “how can OnStar devices be rendered 100% inoperative without making the vehicle useless??”

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