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Automakers Confirm Warrantless Location Data Sharing With US Agencies

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The New York state of mind, for once, may be winning – New Yorkers never really cared to drive. And with the new developments in the car industry, and its all but formal collusion with the constantly surveilling government – perhaps others might take some pointers?

(Of course, not driving or owning a car does not exempt you from surveillance or censorship, even if you’re just walking down the street – but owning and using one on a daily basis, if it’s a modern, “internet-connected car with hundreds of censors” – surely significantly lowers your chances of preserving your personal security and data integrity.)

In any case, it’s not looking good out there, as far as privacy and other civil rights are concerned, the way the automobile industry is going. Cars slowly turned from just machines to get people from A to B – into, “potential spying machines acting in ways drivers do not completely understand.”

That’s a big jump, on any “annoyance scale.”

In the US, this is still a hard pill to swallow, and so there are initiatives from certain lawmakers to capture the “angst” of the truth developing around cars, freedom, and autonomy, and capitalize on it among their expected voters.

And so, Democrat Senators Ron Wyden and Edward Markey wrote to the Federal Trade Commission, regarding car manufacturers sharing data with the police. Some of the arguments, however, were rather narrow – where the developments are affecting everybody.

We obtained a copy of the letter for you here.

But – wrote Wyden – “As far-right politicians escalate their war on women, I’m especially concerned about cars revealing people who cross state lines to obtain an abortion.”

Other instances include cases of stalking, etc – but why isn’t a person’s right to privacy any longer protected as a given, whether or not a violation may be suspected?

And now for the reality affecting everybody, at different points of their experience: Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Volkswagen, BMW, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, and Kia all have confirmed that they have tech embedded in their vehicles allowing them to turn over location data to US government based solely on a subpoena – that it, without a judge having to sign off on an approval.

Volkswagen is the “outlier” here, in that this company will do the same if the data is six days or less old – a subpoena will do. But an actual warrant will be needed to turn over data that spans data collected over a week, according to reports.

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