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Transportation Verizon

Surveillance Culture Brought To the Masses, Courtesy of Verizon (consumerist.com) 215

kheldan writes: Verizon is now offering a way to secretly track your family members' whereabouts and driving habits with your smartphone: "Do you have a teen driver in your household and want to know every time they get a little overzealous with the accelerator? Or maybe you're pretty sure your spouse's frequent trips to 'the office' are not so innocent? If so, then an upcoming update for Verizon's 'hum' in-car smart device might be just what you're looking for.' The new 'features' added will allow you to receive alerts if the target vehicle leaves a predetermined area, drives faster than a preset level, its location, and keeps a history of all the above for later review.
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Surveillance Culture Brought To the Masses, Courtesy of Verizon

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  • Lost the Battle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mikehilly ( 653401 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:43PM (#51529035)
    We already lost the battle; Verizon already has this data. The consumer might as well 'benefit' from it too. Cat isn't going back in the bag.
  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:43PM (#51529037) Homepage Journal
    You thought Microsoft was evil? You thought Google was evil? Nope! Verizon wins going away. Spy on your family, because showing how little you trust your own spouse or kid is just so great for your relationship with them and/or their development as a human being!
    • You thought Microsoft was evil? You thought Google was evil? Nope! Verizon wins going away.

      You say that as if they were mutually exclusive...

    • I was on a weather site that had an outdoor cam in a walmart parking lot and just happened to see my wife walking in so I capped and cropped out a picture and then pretended that it was sent to me by someone claiming to be her boyfriend that knows everything about her but she hadn't met...

      Probably not my best practical joke...

  • by TomR teh Pirate ( 1554037 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:43PM (#51529039)
    My kid is approaching driving age and frankly I'd love to know that he's doing what he says he's going to do with *my* car. It's the classic, "trust, but verify" situation.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      From talking to many of my co-workers who have teenage children, apparently no, you don't really want to know. You think you want to know, but if you knew better, you'd rather be ignorant of that. This comes from one co-worker expressing interest in something like this and everybody chiming in that he really didn't want to know and how ignorance really was bliss.

    • by fonos ( 847221 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:53PM (#51529161)

      And I'm sure that when you were a teen you never did anything that would upset your parents when they weren't watching you. Be careful what you wish for. Your actions now may cause your kid to distrust you for the rest of his life.

      At the very least, if I knew I was being watched while I drove the car, I would just have a friend come pick me up. If you decided to track my cell phone, the next time you did it I would just leave my phone at home. Done, now you can't track my habits, you don't know where I am, AND you can't reach me.

      Have fun with that.

      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @03:00PM (#51529251) Homepage

        If you decided to track my cell phone, the next time you did it I would just leave my phone at home

        LOL, a teenager, leaving their phone at home? That's hilarious.

        Oh, and this is an in-car device as I read TFA ... this isn't bugging the kid's phone, it's bugging the entire car.

      • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @03:05PM (#51529315) Homepage Journal
        Interesting comment thread.
        So none of you were trusted at all by your parents when you were teenagers? Watched constantly? Did they respect you at all, or were you treated like a little criminal until you were 18, then, what, kicked out of the house? That's what some of your comments are leading me to believe.

        Trust and respect are important when raising children. How are they going to trust and respect you, if you don't lead by example by trusting and respecting them? More to the point: If you didn't raise them in such a way that you can trust and respect them, then who's really at fault here? Other parents I know don't feel the need to put their teenage kids on a leash like this, and they don't get in any trouble, either, and before you say 'as far as they KNOW', it's evident from their grades in school (good) and the way they conduct themselves. Are they perfect? Of course not. But how is being 'helicopter parents' and never trusting them a good thing? Seriously, what kind of adults are they going to be when brought up in an environment like that? If you can't trust your son or daughter to be responsible when driving, then maybe you shouldn't let them drive in the first place. I think the old time-tested rule of 'get a ticket, you don't get to drive for a while' is more than adequate. We're all already surveilled everywhere we go these days, why bring it into our homes, too? Honestly, where does it end? Or are you all so thoroughly indoctrinated that being treated like a criminal and watched 24/7/365 is now 'normal' for you? If so then I mourn.
        • by clovis ( 4684 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @03:39PM (#51529581)

          Interesting comment thread.
          So none of you were trusted at all by your parents when you were teenagers? Watched constantly? Did they respect you at all, or were you treated like a little criminal until you were 18, then, what, kicked out of the house? That's what some of your comments are leading me to believe.

          Trust and respect are important when raising children. How are they going to trust and respect you, if you don't lead by example by trusting and respecting them? More to the point: If you didn't raise them in such a way that you can trust and respect them, then who's really at fault here? Other parents I know don't feel the need to put their teenage kids on a leash like this, and they don't get in any trouble, either, and before you say 'as far as they KNOW', it's evident from their grades in school (good) and the way they conduct themselves. Are they perfect? Of course not. But how is being 'helicopter parents' and never trusting them a good thing? Seriously, what kind of adults are they going to be when brought up in an environment like that? If you can't trust your son or daughter to be responsible when driving, then maybe you shouldn't let them drive in the first place. I think the old time-tested rule of 'get a ticket, you don't get to drive for a while' is more than adequate. We're all already surveilled everywhere we go these days, why bring it into our homes, too? Honestly, where does it end? Or are you all so thoroughly indoctrinated that being treated like a criminal and watched 24/7/365 is now 'normal' for you? If so then I mourn.

          I agree with you, but this is also a case of where do you draw the lines.
          Phone tracking? oh, hell no. I'd never do that to my kids.
          Speed tracking on the car? That one is a good idea, because now we're talking about avoiding death and crippling - irreversible mistakes.
          But in no way would I do secret tracking. That is an insult and borderline evil. If we put it on their car, then I'll put it on my car just to be fair.
          Tell them it's on and why. It's just part of the deal of driving in my family.
          If professional drivers can live with these devices, then so can the teenagers.

          • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @03:49PM (#51529667) Homepage Journal
            Thanks for being reasonable. :-)

            If professional drivers can live with these devices, then so can the teenagers.

            Interestingly enough, I have a long-time friend who has been driving trucks his entire professional life. He's driven for companies like Arco/BP, who put GPS, cameras, and microphones inside the cab, for review of driver conduct and safety. He hates it, every other driver hates it, because you can't say anything while driving without them knowing about it, and anything you say, regardless of context, regardless of the true intent (as opposed to their interpretation, or their intent) can get you fired. Even an expression on your face (again, regardless of context) can get you fired. It's not a good thing. It raises drivers' stress levels to the breaking point, because regardless of their driving record, regardless of their productivity, they can be fired for mumbling something under their breath or just having a look on their face that has nothing to do with their driving the truck. The turnover rate is high. After a relatively young age, people just don't like or want to be watched all the time. In the context of this story I can't see it being a good thing for a kid's development into an adult to know they're being watched (i.e., not trusted at all) constantly, and surveilling them covertly all the time is just plain creepy. I don't think it's a good trend for society, either.

            • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @04:10PM (#51529807)

              they can be fired for mumbling something under their breath or just having a look on their face

              As stupid as that sounds, I'd still like to see a website full of screenshots of truck drivers making expressions that got them fired.

            • That's really weird. You say this is commonplace now in the trucking industry?

              This reminds me of a job I had many years ago, doing research on truckers. We outfitted some trucks with hidden cameras to spy on the drivers, and recorded it all on videotape. This wasn't used against the drivers in any way, and never got to their employers, it was used for human factors research. Anyway, we'd sometimes watch the videos, and it was really funny seeing how far some drivers could stick their fingers up their no

          • by JazzLad ( 935151 )
            I have a tracker [cisco.com] on every device my family owns (that support it, anyway - all cells, tablets, laptops, desktops). My wife/kids are just as welcome to look up my location at any time (I tend to be in one of 3 places or commuting between, not very exciting) - the thing is, I have to have a reason to look up where a device is. I don't have (or want) logs; where it is now (or 'last seen') is plenty, but it has helped on multiple occasions where a device was misplaced (Beacon works great) or my wife was somew
        • Interesting comment thread.So none of you were trusted at all by your parents when you were teenagers?

          They trusted me, but they probably shouldn't have considering all the shit and trouble I got into. lol

          But seriously, I see your point and I agree with it. This is one of those things where there are a 10000 shades of gray and no clear lines, plus every kid and every family is different. Call it 500 billion permutations of what's "right" or "fair" or "reasonable". One size definitely doesn't fit all in this kind of scenario.

          There are some cases where it would absolutely be the right thing to monitor a kid's

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        "Done, now you can't track my habits, you don't know where I am, AND you can't reach me."

        Hey, it's the 90s again!

        I'm kind of ashamed of Slashdot. If I were a teenager and my parents got one of these things installed I'd solder in an off switch so I could go dark when I wanted. And I'd hack the account so I could watch what they were doing.

    • Nope. You just want to verify.

      Or do you honestly want to tell us you're ONLY going to use it when you have to assume something bad happened?

    • I believe Ronald Reagan, the shining beacon of Republican Hope, and canonized for all he said and did, said it most succinctly when dealing with nuclear disarmament treaties with the USSR - trust, but verify. For a new driver on the road - I think this is a good thing.

      OTOH, I worry about someone who buys this for their spouse. Unless you're getting it for yourself and giving your spouse the "keys" to the tracking because you have to drive somewhere that's a bit dodgy, you marriage is already on its way out

    • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @03:30PM (#51529539) Journal
      Why dont you make him pee in a cup and wear a bodycam while you are at it... P.S im a dad that had all the tools to track my teenager, but didnt because thats not the kind of human i want to raise. Liberty includes the room to fuck up. Think about this before becoming his personal Stasi.
    • by Hotawa Hawk-eye ( 976755 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @03:34PM (#51529557)
      Is your kid's use of this app with or without their consent? If you negotiate "I will let you use my car under the condition that you run this app so I can find out where you are in an emergency" and the kid agrees to the condition, that seems fine in my opinion. If you secretly put this app on their phone, I think the kid would be right to feel angry about your lack of trust in them when they find out.
    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      Heh heh heh. I remember the first time I got pulled over. Driving my dad's car to my first job. Cop asked me if I knew how fast I was going. I said, "No. The speedometer tops out at 90." He showed an amazing amount of restraint not smacking me (And God knows I deserved it) or arresting me on the spot, but the ticket was a pretty good chunk of a month's pay for me at the time. Of course I learned my lesson. Don't get caught.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:44PM (#51529045) Homepage

    The new 'features' added will allow you to receive alerts if the target vehicle leaves a predetermined area, drives faster than a preset level, its location, and keeps a history of all the above for later review.

    All of which will be legally accessible by the government, without warrant as it will be business records of Verizon.

    And, of course, your divorce lawyer will be able to subpoena it.

    And if you get into an accident it will get called in to make sure you weren't at the bar.

    Anybody signing up for this should recognize just how stupid this is, and just how much this is going to be accessible to everybody who demands it.

    Yet another bit of the connected society I would never want any part of. Signing yourself up to this is basically going to allow dozens of other parties to be able to know everything you do.

    • Unintentional fallout from this, if many people bought it: Insurance companies already want people to have this in their cars. Already having it would be precedent for them insisting everyone have it as a condition of being insured to drive. Very, very bad!
  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:44PM (#51529053) Journal

    It's all coming together, nice and neat. Do they bother putting a real 'off' button on phones anymore? Since you can't remove the battery, how do you know?

  • by Your Anus ( 308149 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:48PM (#51529077) Journal
    I guess I won't need the radio tracking collars I was going to order.
  • ...for those helicopter parents. Sorry, but no thanks.
  • by NEDHead ( 1651195 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:56PM (#51529203)

    One for the wife, one for the GF!

    • by zlives ( 2009072 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @02:59PM (#51529245)

      you just can't trust those women.

    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      Yup! And you should have a wife and a mistress. Because...

      (tl;dr -- skip to the bold.)

      An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.

      The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.

      You just can't guess right what the engineer said. "I like both." "Both?" Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

  • Not only Verizon (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Hyundai made similar "features" available for my Elantra via my BlueLink subscription since 2012 (see also http://m.hyundaiusa.com/technology/bluelink/features/vehicle-safeguard.html) and monitor by App, text, or email. I'm sure most car manufacturers have followed suit by now.

  • you don't trust them and always monitor them. if you want to borrow my $30,000 a year toy with legal implications if you hurt someone, then i have a right to monitor how you use it
    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday February 17, 2016 @03:19PM (#51529421) Homepage

      So, purely to play Devil's advocate ... if you have a car loan, is your bank entitled to monitor you?

      Is your spouse always entitled to monitor you?

      What about the police? Because, after all, there are legal implications if you hurt someone.

      How far do we extend the list of people who should allowed to spy on you? I'm curious? Are you advocating all forms of surveillance, or just when you do it?

      you don't trust them and always monitor them

      Because the surveillance society is exactly this.

      • this is why the bank and state requires you buy insurance and why older people are statistically less likely to drive like idiots and wreck a car
    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      kids are like pets you don't trust them and always monitor them

      Bullshit - by normalizing surveillance you create the totalitarian state. Teens need to learn to be adults. That means trusting them some, and helping them with the inevitable mistakes. No, that's not optimal for your convenience.

      if you want to borrow my $30,000 a year toy

      That's an expensive habit!

      But who lets the kid drive the good car? That's why you buy them the beater, or give them the aging hand-me-down.

      with legal implications if you hurt someone

      Legal implications? I hope it hasn't come to that yet - surely the totalitarian state isn't so far along that we're punishing people for t

      • But who lets the kid drive the good car? That's why you buy them the beater, or give them the aging hand-me-down.

        Noting says trust like saying "I don't trust you with the good car... here's a piece of crap"

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          Never heard of it working any other way, except in very rich families. Every single person I grew up with who got a car, got a beater of one kind or another, and usually the "and you can't ever drive the good car" was explicit. I don't know anyone who was offended by that - we all knew that responsibility wasn't chief among our virtues, and anyhow the first year driving was just that.

  • The geek isn't going to want to hear this.

    But tracking may be the only way to keep the very young and the very old out of trouble on the road.

    Some seniors know when it is time to surrender their keys, some don't. Some kids can be trusted with a car, some can't. I've taken some of the calls which send you to

    • I meant to say simply that I have no desire to attend another visitation for a death that should not have been allowed to happen.
  • Wife got a new car. Kid borrowed said new car to go "to the store". 3 hours and 150 miles later kid returns. We already know he went somewhere, Disney World for all we know or he would tell us. So now Verizon will be to tell us where he went? It's just a little step further than we already were. And even without Verizon, we're still pretty certain he went to Disney World and was driving 90 miles an hour on I-4.
    • Man, your kid must be a Disney-aholic... Drive 75 miles at break-neck speed to get to Disney world only to spend a little over an hour there? That's dedication right there...

  • When I worked at Target they sold a gps that did all of this, you put in a car, you could bring it up online, you could set parameters for alerts, etc.
  • How long before very short range jamming devices are popular among the kids, I wonder?

  • I get why it's chilling to spy on your spouse or your child.

    However, you have every right to spy on the whereabouts of your *car*. Those things are expensive, they get stolen, and sometimes people who didn't even do anything wrong get in trouble and it can be useful to know where it is, and maybe you just like to see where you yourself went. And if your child happens to use your car, then a consequence is you can figure out where they were.

    Don't stick cameras in your child's room, even though it's your ho

    • Honestly, being tracked and surveilled as a kid wouldn't be too bad if you had really permissive parents who just wanted to know where you were, just in case. If you have the kind of relationship with your parents where you tell them you're going to be spending the (weekend) night at a friend's house, and they ask who, their address, etc., and you give them the address and say it's some girl you're going to be sleeping with, and their response is just to make sure you use condoms, then those are the kind o

  • This was state of the art in 2010 on T-Mobile.

    Our pet tracker was re-purposed for personnel (not intentionally) and vehicle tracking. It also found its way to used car dealerships and, in particular, was designed for repossession when leasing to those with dubious credit histories (a fairly large market, btw).

    The tracking data was uploaded and stored on our servers whenever the device had a strong cell signal.

    Due to the size of the device, the technology was creepy and our ops folks had to share location

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