EU supports eCall – GPS in every car

Slashdot reports:

the European Parliament has pass a resolution in support of eCall, an initiative to install devices in vehicles that automatically contact emergency services in the event of a crash. The resolution calls on the European Condition to make it mandatory for all new cars starting in 2015.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  But just think about it for a second.  There you go, driving your car around.  And all of a sudden – BOOM – crash!  Not to worry.  Your car has a device installed that dials the emergency services and there is a digital conversation similar to this:

– Hello, this is emergency services.  How can I help you?
– Hello, this is Mitsubishi Galant GDI.  Registration number XYZ123.  I’ve just crashed and need assistance.
– OK, please remain calm.  The help is on the way.  Whereabouts are you now?
– My map suggests that I am Pentadromos, Limassol, Cyprus.  My GPS coordinates are 34.680635, 33.043198.
– We’ve got you.  There is a unit nearby.  It should be at your location in approximately 2 minutes.
– Thank you. Bye.

This sounds so good, for when you really need help.  But there is another side to it – vehicle tracking.  How comfortable are you with someone else knowing where you went, how fast you went there, and for how long you stayed there?  And we aren’t talking just about the authorities here.  Think of all those hackers, script kiddies, private investigators, and then authorities.

Now, back to the original application – emergency services.  It obviously comes at a price of your privacy.  Is that too much to pay?

2 thoughts on “EU supports eCall – GPS in every car”

  1. Yes, it is the thin end of the wedge. It costs far too much per life “saved” – compared to other ways of doing this (medical screening programmes etc). It will erode personal liberty and be used by other bodies to track movements etc.

Leave a Comment