Thursday 5 April 2007

every move you make...

I took my car back into the dealers this morning for a couple of little things to be sorted out**. As part of the process of checking it into the service department, they popped my key into some kind of reader attached to a computer. A printout duly came out showing how many miles I had done, how much petrol was in my tank, how much engine coolant there was, how long before each of the major components (brakes, engine, gearbox, etc.) would need servicing.
The service guy saw me looking at the printout:

“It won’t be long before it can tell us how fast you’ve been driving”
I wasn’t fooled.
“I bet it tells you that already”

He smiled at me.

The sat nav already tells people where I am and where I’ve been. Is there anything else anyone needs to know about my movements? What I’ve been listening to on the stereo? The colour of my underpants?

Yes? Well, why not? They already know pretty much everything else.

....The new Maximo Park album and dark grey.

So now you know.

** some broken pixels on the sat nav screen, some ropey paintwork on the edge of the petrol cover, a small patch of warped bodywork on the side of the bonnet and a cracked key. Nothing major.


  1. I've been seeing a debate on this recently...useful info vs. privacy. I am not sure I feel entirely comfortable with the idea that my key might tattle on me for speeding.

  2. I read an article on this recently. In order to avoid Big Brother's watchful eye, they recommended always paying in cash and never using loyalty cards. Frankly, I'm too lazy to keep tripping to the cashpoint and love my Boots advantage card, so I'm fair game.

  3. Years ago I took my Mercury (Ford in Europe) Cougar to the dealer for some warranty work on the fuel pump. While I was waiting on the repair, the service writer came to me in the waiting room with print out from the car. He pointed out two codes, and explained that one meant that I had hit the rev limiter, and the other meant that I'd hit the speed governor. He warned me that if I do it often enough, I'll void my warranty.

    As for Big Brother, I've got a post I'm composing in my head about how it's personally affecting me. I'll let ya know when it's up.

  4. I have a question, not being a driver myself...

    Why do they make cars with such electronic devices and then not prevent the driver from speeding?

    Wouldn't that just solve a lot of issues all around?

  5. That is some scary shit. I knew on-board computers registered all sorts of stuff but to that much detail and storing it on the key? Eep!

    Crucifer, limiting cars to the upper speed limit wouldn't stop people speeding on other roads, just highways. It would also have to be universally applied otherwise the car would bomb. Shall I buy a car that only does 70 or one that will do a 100 if I want...? Besides, sometimes it is safer to be able to exceed the speed limit such as when over-taking or getting out of the way of something big been driven by an idiot.