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Thursday Poll: Should Driverless Cars Protect Privacy?

By , TIMES-UNION (Albany, NY)

Thu, May 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm

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Wow. We hadn’t thought of this.

You may have heard that Google has been experimenting with a driverless car, even letting a blind man take one through a Taco Bell drive through.

It’s an intriguing concept we polled about once before. In that poll, 55 percent said they’d be interested in buying one.

In California, the state is close to approving allowing the automated cars on the

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road. (And in Spain, a convoy of them recently took to the highway.)

But some people in California are raising privacy concerns. Google, of course, is known for tracking where its users go on the web and using that information to make money.

So would they do the same with people who purchase their cars? And should they be allowed to do so?

From the Los Angeles Times story:

The legislation should be amended to provide adequate privacy protection for users of the technology, said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog.

“Without appropriate regulations, Google’s vehicles will be able to gather unprecedented amounts of information about the use of those vehicles. How will it be used? Just as Google tracks us around the Information Superhighway, it will now be looking over our shoulders on every highway and byway,” Court said in a letter to Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles).

“The bill should be amended to ban all data collection by autonomous cars. While we don’t propose to limit the ability of the cars to function by communicating as necessary with satellites and other devices, the collection and retention of data for marketing and other purposes should be banned,” he said.

What do you think?

Should makers of driverless cars be barred from tracking where drivers go?

  • Yes, it’s an invasion of privacy and would make me reconsider getting one. (62%, 28 Votes)
  • No, that’s between the business and customer. Keep the government out of it. (38%, 17 Votes)

Total Voters: 45

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