We know everyone who breaks the law.

At first glance, the statement almost sounds reasonable – doesn’t it? After all, we all want the bad guys who break the law to be caught and punished accordingly. But something doesn’t seem right. It has a bit of a sci-fi ring to it; something we’d expect to find in a story by Philip K. Dick.

We’d expect such a brazen statement from J. Edgar Hoover just moments after announcing a successful dragnet operation.

We’re at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, where the former (long deceased) Director of the FBI is nowhere to be found. Instead, this statement was made at a panel discussion in which Jim Farley, Ford’s Global VP of Marketing and Sales let slip bragged that his company handles and parses the GPS data from Ford cars with built-in units. Mr Farley was considerate enough to disabuse his customers of the quaint notion that they have privacy in their cars. Ford, you see, is tracking you.


Quite literally, Ford is watching you. Among surely a host of other data, Ford knows not only your speed, but also where you’ve been and when you were there. He added that Ford currently uses little of the info that they collect and that they ‘don’t supply that data to anyone.’ (That’s assuring!) Rather than any privacy issues, he foresees a time when Ford will be able to use the data to team with partners for marketing purposes and maybe even improving traffic at stadium events.

We’re surprised that Mr Farley is tone deaf to the justified privacy concerns of Americans as we find out more about NSA spying on citizens, E-Z Pass misuse, OnStar abuse and mission creep.

On second thought, he’s ballsy.

As our readers know, we’re sticklers for privacy and personal security. We don’t think we’re alone  in being uncomfortable with being tracked in our cars.

Prediction: it’s only a matter of time until it becomes public that Ford is not the only user of the data that Mr Farley crowed about.