The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has denied that planned rule changes which will mandate cars be fitted with “vehicle to vehicle communications” technology will be used to spy on drivers as part of government data collection.
In an advisory, the NHTSA announced its intention to, “create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, FMVSS No. 150, to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability for light vehicles.”
Under the proposal, every car would have to broadcast and receive a “Basic Safety Message” using a short range communications system which would “process the content of received messages to provide advisories and/or warnings to the driver of the vehicle in which it is installed.”
The message broadcast would include details such as, “vehicle speed; GPS position; vehicle heading; DSRC message ID,” according to the proposal.
Anticipating fears that the technology may be used to spy on Americans’ driving habits and travel destinations, the NHTSA noted that, “Our research to date suggests that drivers may be concerned about the possibility that the government or a private entity could use V2V communications to track their daily activities and whereabouts.”
“The system will not collect or store any data identifying individuals or individual vehicles, nor will it enable the government to do so,” states the advisory.
Some expressed skepticism at the feds’ claim that such data wouldn’t be accessible to government agencies.
“We know EZ-Pass, red-light cameras, traffic cameras are used by DHS to spy on us, and now we’re supposed to believe our govt. won’t use this V2V data to spy on us?” writes the MassPrivateI blog.