The surveillance state grows bigger, but not by the government. It’s private companies that want to know what you do, how you do it, and where you go every minute of the day.
The latest entry into this world is General Motors, which is gearing up to offer auto insurance under its OnStar brand, the system that can give you directions, send emergency responders to your crash site, provide telephone service, and, yes, track the way you drive.
If you agree to allow the company to track your driving habits, they will offer you insurance rates based on things like how often you speed, sudden starts, and sudden stops. The worse your driving, the higher the rates.
But as you might have surmised, GM can already track everything about your driving, and with their GPS satellite link, they know everywhere you go.
This isn’t to say that GM is using such information for nefarious purposes, but shouldn’t we have the ability to turn all that stuff off? Or better yet, shouldn’t they be required to gain our consent before they turn it on in the first place?
And is it worth it? Is $8 per month off your insurance bill (as just an example number) worth giving your data to a private company?