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Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Networked cars, and legal stuff that comes from that or something

Lexus Gen V navigation systemFor my second (and last) CLE session at South by Southwest, I went to something called “The Automobile As Network Node.” I’m going to quote from the course materials, because I really didn’t understand any of it:

Automobiles are increasingly connected to computer networks and are used to collect, use and share vehicle-related information. They also provide a delivery mechanism for driving, entertainment and other content and information. This panel will discuss legal issues arising out of and related to the collection, use and disclosure of vehicle-related information and related emerging legal issues of data use in or related to vehicles.

Aside from an unintentional bad pun, I can’t say I got much out of this. That’s entirely my fault, for not having any foundation that would allow me to understand the material. I did learn the word telematics, whose definition is roughly paraphrased as the “intersection of when the vehicle knows where it is located and has the ability to engage in two-way communication.” The original idea was to allow a person who needed help to call for it, using embedded mobile technology. I am fuzzy on the technology and the legal issues.

I’m kind of disappointed in myself, because this means I checked out on a seminar on intelligent cars. Dangit.

It did yield the best audience question ever, though: “Are self-driving cars plausible from a legal standpoint?”

I wish I could remember the answer.

Photo credit: Enigma3542002 at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

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You have until Thursday before Google gets all up in your stuff

Child Saluting American FlagAnyone using any sort of Google product has now had ample opportunity to not read the terms of its new “unified privacy policy,” which will align the various privacy policies of its many different services (searches, YouTube, Gmail, secretly searching for LOLcats saying dirty words, etc.)

As of March 1, 2012, the new policy will go into effect, and data collected from your search history will become available to other Google services, for marketing purposes (h/t ABA Journal).

You ought to know what that means: those late-night searches for pictures of tree sloths eating bananas will become part of the algorithm used to target advertisements at you. Some people may not want that.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who is fast becoming one of the most relevant advocacy groups in the world (thanks, SOPA!) has a step-by-step guide to removing your entire Google search history ahead of the big day.

I tried doing it, and Google is telling me that I do not even have have “Web History” turned on. I’m not sure how that could be, since I tend to sign up for new internet and social media services without even thinking about it, but maybe this means all my secrets are safe…

Of course, Google will record all of your searches no matter what, but you can opt not to have your history get shared for marketing purposes. Your search history will always be available to law enforcement, of course.

Just thought you should know about this.

Photo credit: Child Saluting American Flag by JefferyTurner, on Flickr.

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