Mercedes-Benz admitted to spying on customersAugust 26, 2019
Most smartphone owners have not been surprised at the ability of gadgets to track their location. But as it turned out, car buyers would soon have to get used to this state of things. In Britain, a scandal erupted around Mercedes-Benz: the eminent manufacturer was convicted of using non-disconnect trackers, with which you can monitor customers of the luxury brand.
Location trackers are installed in most European vehicles to call emergency assistance in the event of an accident or theft. But, according to a journalistic investigation by the British publication The Sun, Mercedes-Benz used such equipment for its own purposes – to search for car loan defaulters. Representatives of the company admitted that they used “emergency beacons” to track the movements of debtors. According to the press service of the company, buyers gave their consent to the processing of geodata when making a purchase.
“The process of returning property is used in some exceptional cases and only as a last resort, when clients refuse to pay a debt or violate the terms of a financial agreement and repeatedly ignore requests for the return of their cars. We also want to note that this does not mean constant surveillance, ”a representative of Mercedes-Benz told reporters.
One of the British politicians, former British Minister David Davis, has already raised the issue of a government investigation into this practice by the automaker. Human rights activists are also worried about the problem – in their opinion, there is a risk of misuse or hacking of tracking equipment, which threatens the privacy of car owners.
The eCall system has been mandatory equipped with all new cars in the EU since March 2018. Vehicle location data and other information should be transmitted to emergency services only in the event of an accident or at the request of the owner.
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