Doing the Government’s Job For Them

While looking for new car insurance these terrifying goons offered a quote. The deal being they will fit you with a tracking box so they know how many miles you do and charge accordingly. Looking into the FAQ it emerges that there are ‘peak times’ they charge you double for (so it’s time and distance logging) and that it it also works as an anti-theft device (so real time capable).

Is it just me that finds that alarming? That people will voluntarily let a random company put a tracking box into their car that will know where they are, where they’ve been, when and how fast they were going. Because you just know it wont be long till the government will demand the police have full access to these devices  for counter-terrorism reason or the ‘war on speed’ or just because ‘the innocent have nothing to hide’, which remains one of the most terrifying phrases in the English language.

About the only silver lining is that the next government can’t be as authoritarian and anti-civil liberties as Labour without actually being dictators, but I’m not sure it will be enough. If people will volunteer for this sort of stuff I doubt enough fuss can be kicked up to stop it.

And the worst part about it? Well, tempted as I was by their bald statement that they own the box “but you have our permission to have the box in your car” (must be a contender for cheeky bastard of the year clause) I think this must be a winner;

Q.21 If I decide I want to change from coverbox in the future do I have to pay to get the box removed?
A.21 No, we can just leave the box in your car.
So they will continue to track you but you don’t even get the benefit of cheap insurance or an anti-theft device. And you can’t easily (or indeed legally) remove it because (a) they wont tell you where it is and (b) they still own it and haven’t given you permission to remove their device from your car.

Next time you wonder why people aren’t fussed about ID cards or a national DNA database just remember this.


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