January 9, 2014
Ford’s Global VP/Marketing and Sales, Jim Farley, said something both sinister and obvious during a panel discussion about data privacy today at CES, the big electronics trade show in Las Vegas.
Because of the GPS units installed in Ford vehicles, Ford knows when its drivers are speeding, and where they are while they’re doing it.
Farley was trying to describe how much data Ford has on its customers, and illustrate the fact that the company uses very little of it in order to avoid raising privacy concerns: “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone,” he told attendees.
Rather, he said, he imagined a day when the data might be used anonymously and in aggregate to help other marketers with traffic related problems. Suppose a stadium is holding an event; knowing how much traffic is making its way toward the arena might help the venue change its parking lot resources accordingly, he said.