Most smartphone owners have long been surprised by the ability of gadgets to track their location. But as it turned out, soon to get used to this state of Affairs and will have to buyers of cars. In Britain, a scandal broke out around Mercedes-Benz: the eminent manufacturer was caught in the use of non-switchable trackers, with which you can follow the customers of the luxury brand.
Location trackers are installed in most European vehicles to call for emergency assistance in the event of an accident or theft. But, according to a journalistic investigation of the British newspaper The Sun, Mercedes-Benz used such equipment for its own purposes — to find defaulters on car loans. 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 customers refuse to pay the debt or violate the terms of the financial agreement and repeatedly ignore requests for the return of their cars. We also want to note that this does not mean constant surveillance," — told reporters the representative of Mercedes-Benz.
One of the British politicians, former British Minister David Davis has already raised the issue of the government investigation of such practices by the automaker. Human rights activists are also concerned 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 (an analog of the Russian ERA-GLONASS system) is mandatory for all new cars in the EU since March 2018. The location of the vehicle and other information must be communicated to the emergency services only in the event of an accident or at the request of the owner.