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 02-22-2004, 08:33 Post: 77566
Peters

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With the Scott Peterson trial heating up the idea that the police can install a satellite tracking system on your vehicle and then follow your every move. I was wondering whether anyone was worked up about big brother GM doing the same? Having spent a couple of days travelling to SC recently they were pushing it on the radio. The systems on the road rigs can pin point a vehicle and the systems at least from the advertisements seem to be doing the same. They seem to be trying to talk new car owners into paying them to install them.
Next break down you could have the salemen show up to try and sell you a new car or extended service policy.






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 02-22-2004, 10:33 Post: 77578
kwschumm



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I worked for a company in the early 90's that developed pre-GPS radiolocation technology for tracking vehicles. We had discussions with GM about them licensing the technology, then GPS came out and they went that way. The radiolocation technology was superior in several ways - near instant speed/bearing/altitude/lat/lon info, more accurate (at the time), and no back-channel was required to locate something. GPS can answer the question of "Where am I" but without a back-channel of some kind it can't answer the question of "Where are you".

Anyway, law enforcement used this technology a LOT. They used to put them on the vehicles of sexual predators and when their cars came within X yards of a school zone the computer would generate an alarm and they'd go pick the guy up. There was a computer theft ring operating in LA, and they put a location device and battery in a bait computer case. When it was stolen they followed it and busted the ring. We used them a lot to track and recover stolen vehicles. Target stores was losing a trailer full of goods to theft nearly every week - when they equipped the trailers with motion activated location devices the thefts stopped instantly (probably an inside job).

Anyway, I was a first hand witness to how the system was abused. A lot of celebrities had the units installed in their vehicles and the operators would always track these people just for fun. They would track the vehicles of friends and relatives to spy on their activities. The company gathered FAR more personal information than was necessary to do the job, and it was all online. Any operator could find where anyone lived, where they worked, where they went during the day, etc. They would give the information to anyone that asked.

After this experience I can tell you I don't want On-Star and I don't want a black box in my vehicle.






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