The battles we’re fighting for our privacy aren’t just to make our phones and computers private places today. They’re to keep our homes, cars, and minds private places in the future. They’re to protect our personhood and stave off autocracy.

@aral Some days I feel like there is not much left to fight for or, at least, way less than what we would think.

It's so depressing to see how swiftly rights we took for essential are being thrown away, with the cheering of so, so many people convinced it is the right thing to do.

@yaglb I hear you and there are days I feel the same. But what choice do we have? We must fight. I can’t think of anything else I could do while this is still a problem.

@aral @yaglb

with cars we need to make younger people strongly aware of the loss of privacy; but its difficult as those below 25 are all nudged towards accepting a black box insurance policy with fitted tracker and the cost difference is as much as £200 less to accept the surveillance (which isn't even 100% reliable), but thats a lot of money for a young person, and the insurers are trying to encourage use of surveillance to all age groups..

@Ambiorix @vfrmedia @aral @yaglb Electronic Control Units — ECU — is it a coincidence that this is the initial name planned for the Euro?

@Ambiorix @vfrmedia @aral @yaglb

Yea, it only seems to be a trend that is going to have to be regulated / fought.

Hmm... A Good reason to own a "classic" car.

@randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb

driving an oldtimer is a possible workaround for those of us who are older and have access to workshop space / time to maintain one, although at in Europe most used cars made until around 2016 don't have the real time surveillance fully implemented, many expect the driver to swallow the data costs (by dangling the carrot of being able to mirror a mobile phone screen to the car or to have an in car hotspot, if they don't fill the SIM slot this doesn't work!)

@randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb

I think its the insurance/surveillance tie ins that need to be more deeply investigated; they act directly on "hearts and minds" of younger people. I was lucky enough myself to only start driving later in life (by which time the price difference is only about £30 less for a spy box policy) but when its £200 and someone younger has already spent £2000 on learning to drive they are more likely to cave in and accept having a black box policy.. >>

@randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb

also many European countries are actively going to discourage use of petrol and diesel powered vehicles from 2030 onwards in preference of EVs, and a lot of EVs have the surveillance tech baked in (whilst driving second hand petrol/diesel cars won't be banned, its not clear what will happen to fuel prices in the future!)

@vfrmedia @randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb wait, *will* it not be banned? given that there's already moves to ban older cars from cities on the basis of emissions, and as the climate crisis intensifies, I wouldn't be surprised by a ban on using existing ICE vehicles in European jurisdictions

... and then you've got Internet of Shit bicycles that will completely fuck your privacy, too, now:

@bhtooefr @randynose @Ambiorix @yaglb @aral

the planned bans are only for selling new ICE vehicles. Some more polluting vehicles cannot be driven in London, others you have to pay a big charge to drive in the middle of London; attempts to extend this to other areas of England are meeting fairly heavy resistance.

Opinions in mainland EU are also heavily divided, some countries are far more car dependent than others and fuel is cheap in populist East European nations...

@vfrmedia @bhtooefr @randynose @Ambiorix @yaglb @aral

I think that's how most countries will deal with personal ICE vehicles - by clean air regulations and other soft power.

I don't think you can effectively get rid of ICE in heavy good vehicles or long-distance travel, in both cases EV are quite useless with current technology.

But ICE is doing most harm in the cities specifically, so it makes perfect sense to start there.

@vfrmedia @randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb

> a lot of EVs have the surveillance tech baked in

And that's probably the area that needs most focus for privacy advocacy groups and regular citizens. Currently the car firmware is 100% proprietary black box can do anything as long as it passes the safety & emissions tests. If these are 100% covered by GDPR, it will both control all kind of proprietary and abusive tracking (as in Tesla) and insurance tracking making it subject to explicit consent.

It's hard to figure out, but I think there are several electric models where the surveillance-based "features" are optional -- but I've not managed to get definite answers from the manufacturer websites whether that means they don't get any data, or they do get data but are obliged to discard it -- and which functuinality is tied to it.
@randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb


I suspect it varies from country to country and what the domestic laws are, plus I suspect the manufacturers aren't even /that/ interested in where people are going, they just want the telemetry from the car itself for debugging purposes (as early adopters are unpaid beta testers same as with computers, and some of this datagathering already happens with "normal" cars anyway (especially the higher end models))

@randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb

That's probably true, except ... insurance companies like thazlt data, so they might wantnto pay for it (in "anonymized" form, of course!), and law enforcement might have some pressing reasons to access it, and the manufacturers themselves might find new ways of making use of it, too. Plus obligatory data breaches, of course.

Handing a company sensitive data I don't need them to have, and then trusting that nothing bad will happpen is a bad idea.
@randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb


in UK both cops and insurance companies already work together to collect whatever data they can get from any source (including spy boxes and drivers' and passengers mobile phones)for "road safety" purposes, amongst other things they then share it to a road safety NGO and publish a map every year showing where the "danger areas" are.. >>


@randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb


also UK insurance, car dealers and finance company work together to offer young drivers (at least in "middle class" areas) a "free" insurance deal and affordable lease/finance for new cars *if* they have the spy box for at least one year (so they automatically opt in to sharing the data). I don't know if this happens in other countries, but the deals are quite tempting to a young person who doesn't "think" they have "anything to hide.."

@randynose @Ambiorix @aral @yaglb

@randynose @Ambiorix @vfrmedia @aral @yaglb

I see where you're going with this, but we can't make our rights contingent on "vote with your wallet" or whatever neoliberal idea of the market providing.

This is a clear case where the only answer is regulation. Specifically, transnational regulation, as independent states just don't have the ability to fight effectively against global capital.

My solution: no car. :)
I've been driving 150 km a day to/from work for seven years, but last year we sold the car, moved, and it's so great to no longer have an alternative to either taking public transport or cycling. I'm also much fitter now ...

...that's of course not so easy for everyone, and I hope if I ever need a car again, there'll be a sensible choice.

The real "innovation" by Tesla, in my view, was removing privacy from private mobility.
@Ambiorix @vfrmedia @aral @yaglb

@aral agreed. I am hoping after this year I will move onto doing more research directly in this area but I fear it will be a retrospective on how billionaires / corporations managed to destroy the usefulness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through our connected devices and cyborg selfs 😢

@aral You forgot about financial privacy. We could say that money is a tool of communication in the financial world. Who controls the money, controls that communication or vice versa. Cash is still the best app. Checking cash is harder than checking digital money in a bank account. Looks that crypto could replace cash in future.

@aral - I totally agree. It is us who are present now who must make sure that privacy will remain existing in the future, whether it is online or IRL.
Just think of all those who are born into this world from now on, and come to believe in good faith that there should be no privacy.
It's simply so sad to think about.

@aral Here in the United States, the battle for privacy is over. Privacy lost. The only thing to do now is wait for social collapse and hopefully whomever survives can rebuild anew. But as far as I'm concerned, there is no longer a fight worth waging.

But you have said (to me) that "vaccine passports" are perfectly OK.

cognitive dissonance much?
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