WaPo: Big Brother on wheels: Why your car company may know more about you than your spouse by Peter Holley:
DETROIT — Daniel Dunn was about to sign a lease for a Honda Fit last year when a detail buried in the lengthy agreement caught his eye.
Honda wanted to track the location of his vehicle, the contract stated, according to Dunn — a stipulation that struck the 69-year-old Temecula, Calif., retiree as a bit odd. But Dunn was eager to drive away in his new car and, despite initial hesitation, he signed the document, a decision with which he has since made peace.
“I don’t care if they know where I go,” said Dunn, who makes regular trips to the grocery store and a local yoga studio in his vehicle. “They’re probably thinking, ‘What a boring life this guy’s got.’”
Dunn may consider his everyday driving habits mundane, but auto and privacy experts suspect that big automakers like Honda see them as anything but. By monitoring his everyday movements, an automaker can vacuum up a massive amount of personal information about someone like Dunn, everything from how fast he drives and how hard he brakes to how much fuel his car uses and the entertainment he prefers. The company can determine where he shops, the weather on his street, how often he wears his seat belt, what he was doing moments before a wreck — even where he likes to eat and how much he weighs.
And, if the car company can get it, the government can get it from the car company by subpoena.