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It Won’t Stop at the Car

September 3, 2013

Jonah Goldberg mentions the fact that the EU is planning to put governors on cars to keep them under the speed limit.

Under the new proposals, all new cars would have a built-in camera that would monitor limits displayed on road signs and a satellite link that would gather data. This information would then trigger an automatic application of the brake if the vehicle is driving too fast. Thus no car in the United Kingdom would be able to drive faster than the British motorway speed limit of 70mph.

Moreover, vehicles that are already on the road may be forced to return to a garage to be fitted with this Orwellian gizmo.

I was going down a similar path the other day while in the car… but it involved the phone.  Having recently jumped into the smartphone world, I’ve been wondering how free we can really be with the data that the phone is collecting.  We’ve all seen the Geico pig commercial where he hands the police officer his phone with the insurance information on it, right?

Honestly, I trust police.  I still would never willingly hand over a smart phone to an officer without a warrant.  The law has to go through a variety of hoops to subpoena a PC if they suspect something is on it, and the information is a trove of data about you.  A phone is potentially more immediate, but the information on that could be easily used against you.  The location info says that you were speeding? Ticket.  The log info says you were on a call, and you don’t have a headset attached?  Ticket.  You get the point.

I think smart phones are wonderful devices.  I also wonder how much they’re going to be used by authorities in an effort to “protect” us from ourselves.

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