It seems that living off the grid is becoming more and more difficult with every electronic device apparently monitoring your location and sending information back to the parent company. Today’s privacy breach is courtesy of GPS maker TomTom, who just announced to their customers that they send travel data, including location and speed, to the “government and authorities.” According to TomTom’s CEO, this data has been used by local law enforcement to identify roads that have a high number of people driving over the speed limit in order to decide where to place speed trap cameras.
Based on the company’s message, it appears that TomTom only sends out anonymous data that can’t be tracked back to an individual user. The flaw in the logic is that since most people start using their GPS at their home, it would be trivial to identify the driver based on a consistent starting and ending location. With that information in hand, could police start sending out speeding tickets based on the GPS data, thus saving the costs of having to implement cameras at all? Although this isn’t going to happen overnight, it’s something that we need to think about going into the future.
As consumers, we are constantly giving away more and more of our personal privacy. Will there be a tipping point where people demand this privacy and will turn away from the electronic creature comforts in order to obtain it? Or are we too far down the rabbit hole to turn back now?
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