4 Ways Your Car Spies on You — and How to Protect Yourself

Are you being stalked behind the wheel? Here's how to tell — and what to do about it.

We all know that Big Brother watches us when we are online. Today, most of us accept that our personal viewing habits are tracked by advertisers trying to sell us stuff.

But what about when we climb behind the wheel? We may think shutting down our computer and other electronic devices allows for a little private time as we drive. But not necessarily.

Following are four ways in which your driving habits can be recorded and tracked — and tips for protecting yourself from your car’s prying eyes.

1. Event data recorders (EDRs)


Nowadays, most newer cars have an event data recorder, which notes the information your car’s sensors pick up about your speed, braking and other factors.

In essence, the EDR is your vehicle’s black box, recording what transpired in your car’s systems in the seconds before and during a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, “EDRs do not collect any personal identifying information or record conversations and do not run continuously.”

Still, many privacy advocates worry about both the accuracy of the data and how it might be used.

Seventeen states have enacted laws to protect the privacy of EDR information. To find out more about the laws in your state, check out this breakdown from the National Conference of State Legislatures.


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