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Is Your Car Spying On You? Experts Say YES!

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Within earshot of you, at this very moment, are any number of devices that could be sending your data to whomever you like.

Chances are, one of those devices is the vessel upon which my words and thoughts sail to you, and you may be reading this very sentence on this in-pocket wiretap.  In the room over, perhaps a Google Home device or Amazon Alexa is recording your every gasp, and perhaps inadvertently letting your neighbors listen in.

All this reminds me of the great mobster films, where two paranoid gangsters only speak to one another in the confines of a running car in a garage somewhere that they know they aren’t being bugged.

Well, unfortunately, even those days are over.

This week at CES, the international consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, a host of startup companies will demonstrate to global automakers how the sensor technology that watches and analyzes drivers, passengers and objects in cars will mean enhanced safety in the short-term, and revenue opportunities in the future.

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Whether by generating alerts about drowsiness, unfastened seat belts or wallets left in the backseat, the emerging technology aims not only to cut back on distracted driving and other undesirable behavior, but eventually help automakers and ride-hailing companies make money from data generated inside the vehicle.

It gets worse.

Interior-facing cameras inside the car are still a novelty, currently found only in the 2018 Cadillac (GM.N) CT6. Audi (VOWG_p.DE) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) have developed systems but they are not currently activated. Mazda (7261.T), Subaru (9778.T) and electric vehicle start-up Byton are introducing cars for 2019 whose cameras measure driver inattention. Startup Nauto’s camera and AI-based tech is used by commercial fleets.

Data from the cameras is analyzed with image recognition software to determine whether a driver is looking at his cellphone or the dashboard, turned away, or getting sleepy, to cite a few examples.

Companies such as Israel’s Guardian Optical Technologies and eyeSight Technologies, Silicon Valley’s Eyeris Technologies Inc, Sweden’s Smart Eye AB SEYE.ST, Australia’s Seeing Machines Ltd (M2Z.L), and Vayyar Imaging Ltd, another Israeli company using radar instead of vision, are crowding the space. Many have already signed undisclosed deals for production year 2020 and beyond.

Now, just like those paranoid gangsters in the classic films, the folks who have been taping over their laptop cameras seem to have been right all along.  Will they be doing the same in their new Cadillacs?

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About the Author:
As a lifelong advocate for the dream promised us in the Constitution, Andrew West has spent his years authoring lush prose editorial dirges regarding America's fall from grace and her path back to prosperity. When West isn't railing against the offensive whims of the mainstream media or the ideological cruelty that is so rampant in the US, he spends his time seeking adventurous new food and fermented beverages, with the occasional round of golf peppered in.