California wants GPS Tracking Devices in Every Car

Since many states use gasoline taxes to help fund highway projects and road repairs, the increased usage of gas/electric hybrids hit are causing cash-strapped states to warn of rough roads ahead. California & Oregon are reported to be considering a replacement for the gas tax altogether, a “tax by the mile”:

“Drivers will get charged for how many miles they use the roads, and it’s as simple as that,” says engineer David Kim.

Kim and his team at Oregon State University equipped a test car with a global positioning device to keep track of its mileage. Eventually, every car would need one.

The danger here involves the government requiring all cars to have GPS tracking devices. Who will have access to this tracking data? Can anyone with a GPS receiver now monitor any car’s route & destination? Would law enforcement need a warrant or supoena to find out if my car was at a political rally? These are just some of the privacy concerns related to such a proposal – and highly related to my work on the privacy implciations of Vehicle Safety Communication applications.

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