Welcome to the roadway panopticon

The Department of Transportation wants very badly to track your car wherever you go all the time with mandatory, tamper-proof GPS transponders. And they’re making progress. Pay attention:

The problem, though, is that no privacy protections exist. No restrictions prevent police from continually monitoring, without a court order, the whereabouts of every vehicle on the road. No rule prohibits that massive database of GPS trails from being subpoenaed by curious divorce attorneys, or handed to insurance companies that might raise rates for someone who spent too much time at a neighborhood bar. No policy bans police from automatically sending out speeding tickets based on what the GPS data say. The Fourth Amendment provides no protection. The U.S. Supreme Court said in two cases, U.S. v. Knotts and U.S. v. Karo, that Americans have no reasonable expectation of privacy when they’re driving on a public street.

Be afraid. Then be mad, and — again — pay attention.

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