Print 19 comment(s) - last by eldakka.. on Jan 20 at 1:23 AM

He's pushing federal regulators to create the laws

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally has been in the news quite a bit the past few months as a potential runner-up for Microsoft's open chief executive position, but with those hopes dashed, Mulally is back to auto issues -- more specifically, driver privacy
According to The Detroit News, Mulally wants federal regulators to create laws that protect the privacy of drivers with vehicles that record their actions. 
“It’s really important that we have boundaries and guidelines,” said Mulally. “I think this area of privacy — and it always has been — (is) the domain of the government.”
Mulally's comments follow a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which discovered that major automakers have separate policies regarding the amount of data they collect and how long they keep it. The government report covered Detroit’s Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally [SOURCE: The Guardian]

Vehicles today are loaded with technology that tracks driver locations in order to help them find a destination, navigate traffic, find the closest gas station, etc. While this is generally understood by drivers, the GAO report revealed that the major automakers not only carry different policies on how much data they collect and how long it's retained, but that they also don't allow drivers to request that their data be deleted. 

The government report suggested that automakers keep location data safe by de-identifying it, only keep location data as long as they need and delete the data after a certain amount of time.

Before the GAO report, Ford marketing chief Jim Farley announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 that “we know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing."

Mulally's call for privacy laws also comes at a time when Ford and other automakers are looking to use data in new ways, such as targeted advertisements in cars. For instance, when a driver passes a certain restaurant or store, an ad can be sent to the driver for in-store specials and more.

Ford's patent for targeted in-car advertisements said personal information would not be included in driver data, but rather, "generic" information would be sent for the advertisements. 

Source: The Detroit News

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Generic Laws
By gppinky on 1/16/2014 1:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand why they want different laws than for example a Garmin GPS. Both track your driving and record it.

I think they want laws so that they know where to draw the line without fear for a privacy lawsuit later on unlike Facebook who push the limits first, and then see how people react.

RE: Generic Laws
By Reclaimer77 on 1/16/2014 2:16:40 PM , Rating: 3
It's more insidious than that. They already have the patents. Now he's going to lobby the Government (pay off some people) to make his patented process the only LEGAL means of collecting data and delivering ads in vehicles. All while wearing the false guise of someone deeply concerned with privacy and consumer rights.

Not that Fords shi*ty - oh I'm sorry - slightly less shi*ty vehicles were ever on my list to begin with. But this makes me not want to ever patronize his company.

RE: Generic Laws
By troysavary on 1/16/2014 4:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
The days that ads start being pushed at me in a vehicle is the day I take up the horse and buggy.

RE: Generic Laws
By Reclaimer77 on 1/16/2014 4:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
What if Google brought their business model to the self driving car? You get a car for free, all you have to do is let them push ads to you while it drives you around!


RE: Generic Laws
By troysavary on 1/17/2014 6:56:38 AM , Rating: 2
I'd have to decide what wins out, my dislike of Google or my love of saving money. Tough call.

RE: Generic Laws
By Samus on 1/16/2014 6:41:37 PM , Rating: 3
Wow, that's some conspiracy theory.

In case you never noticed, automobile manufactures rarely, if ever, sue each other over style cues or patents. Even as they become more technology rich, that likely won't change. This isn't Apple vs Samsung.

I agree with one of your points, though. Mulally wants to know where the gray area begins when it comes to privacy, probably in order not to be sued or conflict with the interests of the consumer.

It's funny I think Ford's most exciting vehicles were from 2003-2008. Ever since ecoboost and electro-hydraulic steering became the norm, even in their ST/GT+ vehicles, and the use of technology as a crutch over quality materials and interior design, the company makes few, if any, exciting vehicles.

A lot of this can effectively be contributed to the break-away from Mazda in 2010.

ads in cars
By ssobol on 1/16/2014 12:08:13 PM , Rating: 5
...such as targeted advertisements in cars. ...

Any car that gives me ads about anything (not counting the ads that may be on the radio) is a car the I will refuse to buy.

RE: ads in cars
By danjw1 on 1/16/2014 2:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 100% I will not put up with it.

RE: ads in cars
By inperfectdarkness on 1/17/2014 12:16:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'd live with it...if they're giving me the car FOR FREE that is.

RE: ads in cars
By ie5x on 1/17/2014 2:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
It may be more subtle than that... like it happens with Smart TVs. It will have a YouTube app, which will upgrade itself one day and start pushing out ads to you based on your tracked data.

This way, you cannot know for sure if you should not buy the car.

So Transparent
By Reclaimer77 on 1/16/2014 12:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
The goal here is so transparent it's almost insulting.

Ford's patent for targeted in-car advertisements said personal information would not be included in driver data, but rather, "generic" information would be sent for the advertisements.

I mean..hello? Think people are so stupid we can't read between the lines?

*looks around at the average person*

Oh. Oohhhh, right :(

RE: So Transparent
By Reclaimer77 on 1/16/2014 12:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
Also anyone who can say this:

“It’s really important that we have boundaries and guidelines,” said Mulally. “I think this area of privacy — and it always has been — (is) the domain of the government.”

in wake of the NSA scandals being on the news every day is a goddamn moron!

RE: So Transparent
By Dr of crap on 1/16/2014 12:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
The average person is soooooo, how sould I put this, stupid, that yes they don't get it.

AND I would SOOOOOOOoooooo hate to get ads, for places I just drove past I can't even wait for that to happen!!!!!!!

By djdjohnson on 1/16/2014 12:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not really sure why automakers "need" data about drivers. They didn't have it for a century... why is there any kind of need now?

RE: Why?
By superflex on 1/16/2014 3:14:45 PM , Rating: 2
Hello McFly?
Information is power (money) or did you just crawl out from under your rock.
Perhaps you missed the whole smartphone data grab and the meteoric rise of AAPL and GOOG.

By HoosierEngineer5 on 1/16/2014 12:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
we know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it

By milktea on 1/16/2014 1:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
Santa is coming to give you a traffic ticket :D

I'm a Ford guy but...
By KCjoker on 1/16/2014 6:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
I won't buy a Ford or any car with ads displayed.

Find the data antenna...
By eldakka on 1/20/2014 1:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
...and snip/break the connections to it.

Don't allow any sending or receiving of data from the vehicle. I'll continue to use stand-alone GPS units that don't 'phone home'.

I prefer getting the most basic in-car electronics, and adding after-market non-integrated components (radio, GPS, etc).

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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