The NY Times writes about Oregon’s experiments with a per-mile fee system that could replace general gas taxes. By installing GPS location tracking devices in every car, mileage could be tracked and users would have taxes levied on how much they use the roads, not on how much gas they purchase.
The Times article does note the privacy concerns of amassing a large database of drivers’ locations and driving habits. One of the easiest ways to avoid these concerns is to delete the data after the necessary tax calcuations are made (although this would prevent the ability for users to question or audit their usage tax bill).
Other technical solutions might be available that might better protect the value of one’s privacy on the roads. For example, instead of having an active GPS system monitoring the precise movements of one’s car, each filling station could simply download the most recent odometer setting to collect mileage data. Such data wouldn’t be location-specific, allowing more driver privacy.