QOTD: How Can We Claw Back Some Privacy?


Matt’s post from earlier today led to a natural QOTD. Thing is, if I asked you how comfortable you were with government-mandated kill switches, driver monitoring, and the like, almost all of you would say no.

It’s one of the few things left in this country that unites liberals, libertarians, centrists, and conservatives — almost all of us are tired of giving up privacy, even for regulations that are well-intended. For example, most of us are all for reducing drunk driving, but few of us would want to have the government monitoring our BAC each time we got behind the wheel.

So, instead, I ask, what can we do as consumers to keep our cars our private domains, preferably while also still achieving noble goals such as reducing drunk and/or distracted driving?

I consider myself fairly smart, or at least relatively well educated, but I admit I don’t have a lot of answers here. I do want to the government, the automakers, and other companies to be limited when it comes to how much user data they can hoover up. I am also OK with most regulations that aim to reduce drunk and/or distracted driving — I have no issue with most of the current rules and regs and the few quibbles I have are minor.

That said, drunk driving does remain a problem, as does distracted driving. So now we have the government talking about trying to reduce the problem further at the expense of motorists privacy.

Or maybe it’s much ado about nothing — sometimes these proposals seem scary but in the end the worst doesn’t come to pass. Perhaps laws will be passed to ensure our data is anonymized and that any deactivation systems only work if our car is stolen or if the driver is really, truly doing some seriously criminal stuff. Perhaps driver-monitoring systems will detect medical problems as opposed to accidentally thinking a teetotaler is hammered. Maybe any paranoia is just that.

So, what say you? To go back to the question I was initially trying to avoid, are you willing to accept this kind of tech in your car? And if not, how do we stop it? How do we so while also still continuing to try to reduce the truly serious problems of drunk and/or distracted driving ?

Sound off below.

[Image: metamorworks/Shutterstock]

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