New York City officials are looking for 400 volunteers for a pilot program that would test their new “Drive Smart” technology. The tiny device would be inserted underneath the steering wheel, and would track your whereabouts, how fast you drive, when you drive, and how much fuel you use. The data would be sent to city officials with the Department of Transportation, who claim they’ll be able to use the information to make the streets of New York City safer.
Like any surveillance program, the proponents of Drive Smart are trying to regale the citizens of New York with the benefits of this technology. Safe drivers can send the data to their insurance company and have their rates cut, and the device will help you find less congested routes. However, there’s no reason to think that this technology couldn’t be easily hacked, or that the authorities could use the information against you.
City officials have assured the public that the information is anonymous, and would be deleted from their database every 48 hours, but I think we know better. Our government has shown us time and time again that they don’t care about our rights, and they cannot be trusted with our private information.
They also make no mention of how long this technology will remain voluntary. Surveillance is a slippery slope, and it will only be a matter of time before they force every driver to install Drive Smart in their vehicle. All in the name of safety and efficiency of course.
This article first appeared in ActivistPost.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personalTwitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.