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Is your car spying on you?

Patrick Christys
Aug 22, 2019


 

 

Mercedes have got themselves in a bit of hot water by admitting they’ve been TRACKING their customers.

The manufacturer has been fitting secret sensors to all of the new and used vehicles sold by their vendors - and they can pinpoint a car’s EXACT location.

To make matters worse, Mercedes are refusing to reveal how long they’ve been using the sensors for. They sold over 170,000 new cars in Britain last year.

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Mercedes say they don’t install the trackers to follow your movements or to sell the data to advertisers, but they admit that they could share the data with certain third party firms.

The manufacturer insist the trackers are only actually turned on in “extreme circumstances”, when finance customers have defaulted on their payments.

As a result, they could quietly let the bailiffs know where your motor is to make it easier for them to repossess it. 

David Davis MP has stern words for Mercedes. He said: 

“This is not the first time big business has behaved like Big Brother — but it’s rare to be quite as deceitful as this”.

“I have to question whether it is even legal to pass on information to other people such as bailiffs”.

“I would think the relevant minister ought to look very closely at the legality of this procedure.”

Various rival manufacturers including Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen and BMW have said they don’t install trackers into their vehicles. 

Tracking a vehicle without its driver’s knowledge is illegal under EU data protection laws.

But Mercedes drivers do actually give their permission for the trackers to be installed and turned on when buying a motor through Mercedes’ financial arm.

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Mercedes says a clause about “location sensors” is in bold print just above a customer’s signature on finance contracts.

Call us old fashioned, but we think that for something as significant as a TRACKER, manufacturers should be a bit more open about what customers are actually signing up for.

And MP Andrew Bridgen agrees with us. He said:

“If Mercedes wishes to install this privacy-surrendering tech in their cars, that’s fine. But surely they have a duty to explicitly tell their customers beforehand — and not hide it away in their terms and conditions.”

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