BIG BROTHER: New York to start monitoring your driving speeds, habits and destinations under new tracking program

Would you be down with “more control over the people” or can you see yourself willingly sending the government information about your driving habits? Most people would say no, but the Department of Transportation (DOT) in New York is trying to suck drivers in to participate in their car-monitoring program by dangling a possible “30% discount off car insurance” carrot. Are you a sucker? Most likely not.

While the program is being marketed as a way to collect information about your driving habits, i.e. how hard you brake, excessive acceleration, slow driving or “granny driving,” some are suspicious about what exactly this information is being used for. And quite frankly, many Americans are tired of their personal data being collected, stored and analyzed. One man responded to the Drive Smart Initiative with, “Enough, enough, enough. There is the NSA, the CIA, the FBI — you have more information than you need.”

The NY DOT is actively seeking 400 volunteers to participate in the year-long program, so if you are sucker for “discounts” on your insurance, then as long as you have a valid driver’s license and drive in New York at least four days a week, then you can sign up for the Drive Smart Tracking Program.

And what of the unforeseen consequences of this type of data collection? According to security expert Manny Gomez, the danger of hacking is possible, but also, is it possible that the DOT could use this information against you, instead of offering you insurance discounts?

Suppose you are a notably aggressive driver. Is it possible the DOT could sell this information to Allstate Insurance and get your rates increased? Or maybe the device could be used to hack into your vehicle and control your brakes, your steering or your speed?

Perhaps this pilot program could eventually be used as part of a mandate that requires people to drive with these monitors on their vehicles, and could eventually evolve into a monitoring program run by the government without any oversight. The Big Brother scenarios that could play out from programs like this one are endless.

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