back to article EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

No, your car won’t be spying on you, say MEPs, but it will call you an ambulance should you need it. The European Parliament has reached a deal with national ministers to introduce a mandatory “eCall” system for all new cars from April 2018. However, although the system would automatically call the 112 emergency number in the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Lies, Lies and Politicians

    "They also say it will reduce road congestion."

    How does it do that without tracking a vehicles movement and periodic polling?

    1. Vimes

      Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

      Presumably if they get to an accident more quickly then they can clear the road more quickly too.

      Imagine the congestion that can occur from an accident on the likes of the M3 once the hard shoulder has been removed, or on a minor A road somewhere where an accident would mean the road being completely blocked...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

        So this magic system can tell if I'm on the motorway or the road passing over it? I'm impressed.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

          You're right. Your edge case renders the entire concept useless. Or rather it doesn't.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

            Never said the concept is useless, but to say it will fix congestion is utter horse shit. Live in the West Midlands where hundreds of roads cross over, run under and run parallel to motorways and you will realise this isn't going to happen.

            This is the UK where roads are densely packed and cell signal triangulation is nowhere near accurate enough to locate a vehicle that is causing a traffic jam. I think the multitude of cameras and people calling on mobiles will be much more accurate.

            Where it will be very useful is quieter country roads where you may fly of a lane and cars go by without noticing you, if there are any cars at all.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

              Only if there is cell coverage in the rural area where you have the accident......

        2. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

          Perhaps it can - if the road passing over the motorway is pointing in a different direction to the motorway ...

        3. Graham 24
          Boffin

          Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

          If you have a reasonably detailed basemap and GPS coordinates for the last 60 seconds of travel, then yes, it's fairly easy to determine which road you're on.

        4. davemcwish

          Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

          Yes as GPS data includes altitude they could infer which road provided altitude info is added to the roads in question

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Lies, Lies and Politicians

      It's just makework to justify their existence and salaries. They have no useful work to do, and they know full well that if they asked people what they actually wanted them to do, most would reply "get a real job".

  2. Vimes

    Oh good - another bit of technology to go wrong.

    Cue the false alerts where notifications of emergencies are sent even though none exist because something in the system isn't working.

    Ambulances will get to these non-accidents more quickly, but take longer getting to those in real danger since by that point in time they're in the wrong place.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Err... it is useless for a different reason

      With all due respect if an ambulance is called to a place where I have smashed myself to a point where I cannot call it, I would actually _WANT_ it to have my full medical record handy - correct blood, correct list of allergies and intolerances, etc.

      If the call is with just "location, car, fuel type" it is completely useless, thank you.

      The system is idiotic as designed. What it should do instead of having a car GSM phone is to use paired user phone(s) (something that can be identified and opt-ed in to match to correct medical records) to place the calls instead. The relevant functionality is in every bluetooth car stereo already - all you need to do is to hook it up to the airbag activation circuit.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Err... it is useless for a different reason @ Voland's Right Hand

        And here is where we differ - you want it somehow to have all sorts of information it would be impractical to have (how would the system know whether it is you or another driver behind the wheel, what passengers, etc?). However, I DON'T WANT the system at all, regardless of such perceived "benefits". This should (indeed, I'd go so far as to say "must") be opt-in, and if I ever have to use a car with such an intrusive add-on, I will make sure I know how to disable it.

      2. davemcwish

        Re: Err... it is useless for a different reason

        No really idiotic just based on practicalities and privacy.

        Your solution doesn't address

        a) The driver doesn't want a personal smartphone or have their medical records stored on a company issued one

        b) Multiple occupants. What about a coach crash ?

        If you're going down the route that the paramedics need access to the victim(s) full medical history then the only practicable solution is microchip implants.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Cue the false alerts where notifications of emergencies are sent even though none exist because something in the system isn't working."

      AIUI, there is already a system up and running in the USA so there ought to be some data availbale to confirm or deny your fears.

  3. Britt

    Hit a harsh speed bump and get an ambulance chasing you!

    1. petur
      Facepalm

      "Hit a harsh speed bump and get an ambulance chasing you!"

      but maybe you injured yourself hitting that speed bump!

    2. GettinSadda

      Yeah - I'm fed up of forever replacing my air-bags having hit speed bumps too hard. Not.

      This system is linked to the air-bag system and triggers when the air-bags fire. It also has a hands-free phone built in (or at least the one in my car does) so you can speak to the operator and let them know what state you are in and more details about the crash (assuming you are conscious).

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    "basic details such as..."

    Speed, temperature, steering angle, brake line pressure, recent history...

    This will turn out to be evidence *for* a prosecution after the event, but won't be available for a defence against a prosecution - as happened with the tachograph traces for HGVs.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: "basic details such as..."

      Records from the finger print scanners used to open the door, the facial recognition camera used to start the engine. Reaching for controls must cause at least one accident per decade, so we need a microphone for voice activated windscreen washers.

      If the vehicle stops in a deserted location and starts rocking then GCHQ should consider this evidence of a possible accident and activate all the on-board cameras and microphones.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: "basic details such as..."

        Don't forget the analyser built into the air-con system so it can work out if the single occupant has been drinking/smoking pot.

    2. Stu Mac

      Re: "basic details such as..."

      You got it in 1.

      Subsequently full time tracking of all vehicles will be mandated on anti terrorism grounds, after all ANPR tracks all cars in the UK already.

      Then will come speed interlocks with maximum speeds governed electronically based on location.

      You have to particularly dense to believe otherwise. In which case you probably thought the transatlantic extradition treaty would only be used on terrorists *snort*

    3. IT_grease_monkey

      Re: "basic details such as..."

      Is that really true?

      Tacho evidence is never released to the drivers defence?

      Why, or rather, why not?

      Surely that can be challenged...

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: "basic details such as..."

        This was from a case some years ago and may of course have been misrepresented, but from memory, a lorry driver was charged with dangerous driving and tried to enter his tacho record as proof that his speed was not excessive; he was not allowed to.

        I don't recall the grounds, but I do recall it was in the days of the paper tachos.

  5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    location data

    "which must be sent only to the emergency services,"

    Emergency services as defined by whom?

  6. D@v3

    “It will be illegal...

    Well that's ok then isn't it, because we all know that no big data mining firm would ever dream of breaking a law

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: “It will be illegal...

      Cue a whole new industry to grow up around disabling this big brother shite.

  7. IDoNotThinkSo
    Black Helicopters

    Illegal for whom, exactly?

    It will be illegal - except for those above the law, eh?

    Who lobbied the bureaucrats? They don't usually come up with this kind of thing on their own.

    1. SolidSquid

      Re: Illegal for whom, exactly?

      Insurance companies have been pushing for this kind of box to be attached to cars for at least a few years now. It doesn't sound like it records everything they'd want, since they want to have evidence of you speeding before the accident and such, but could certainly be expanded to incorporate that "so we can investigate what causes crashes"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Illegal for whom, exactly?

      "Who lobbied the bureaucrats?"

      Same lot who lobbied them relentlessly to implement ID cards I imagine.

    3. Ilmarinen

      Re: Illegal for whom, exactly?

      "Who lobbied the bureaucrats?"

      It seems that quite often the EU gives bungs to campaigning groups, especially Big Green NGOs, to lobby it for things that it then makes into laws. It appears that the Neonic pesticide ban is one recent example, complete with all the policy based evidence making that money can buy.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once that capability to transmit data is in there it can't be taken back again. Thin end of the proverbial. Other obvious questions are - will it really be accurate enough to predict whether an ambulance is required? in how many instances would it call an ambulance significantly quicker than would have been called anyway? and will this be counter-productive by sending ambulances haring off to minor accidents instead of being prioritised by a human to where they are most needed at that moment?

  9. Moeluk

    And presumably this will end the oft favoured practice of paying for the opposite persons repairs in minor bumps and scuffs.

  10. Snorlax Silver badge
    Coat

    Pull The Other One

    “It will be illegal to use eCall to track a driver’s movements or to misuse location data, which must be sent only to the emergency services,” said Olga Sehnalova, the Czech politician who helped broker the deal.

    So police will need a warrant to take a download of your location data if you're suspected of being near the scene of a crime?

    1. Mpeler
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Pull The Other One

      Olga Sehn a lova??? Your mail's in the Czech...

      Lova ly, simply lova ly...

  11. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    To be fair

    if they require that the hardware only gathers location data once it is triggered, then it can't be used for tracking/recording. Will this be the case?

    Doesn't stop the whole system being totally pointless overkill though, which will be wrong as often as it is right. How does the system know that an ambulance is required? Will it have a delay built in and an option for driver override "Calling ambulance in 30 secs press this button to cancel"? How will it phone home when out of mobile range?

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: To be fair

      The most pertinent question is this "How does the system know that an ambulance is required? "

      "delay built in and an option for driver override" seems to be a sensible solution (meaning almost certainly there will be a different solution implemented!!).

      On the other hand humans aren't always the best self-reporters, so maybe if the impact force detected is above certain number of Gs, call an ambulance anyway

    2. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: To be fair

      "if they require that the hardware only gathers location data once it is triggered, then it can't be used for tracking/recording. Will this be the case?"

      Might be initially. But you have to consider that already 2% of new car registrations are pure electric vehicles or hybrids. That's comfortably ahead of DfT projections from last year, and despite high purchase costs and a fairly poor choice of vehicles. As better, cheaper cars come to market we can expect the takeup to increase. Initially the bunglers of government can simply up the tax on ICE vehicles to compensate for the loss of fuel duty, but that stops working well fairly quickly as the market share of EVs rises.

      All of which point inexorably to road pricing as an inevitable government "solution". I'm sure some people won't mind the continuous tracking and record keeping by government (1), nor being charged more to use roads at certain times of day (roads we've already paid for), but can you now see what location tracking will be used for in practice? And the really great thing is this: Road pricing and universal tracking will be justified on the alters of two of the really important things government keep us safe from: Climate Change (tm) and Global Terrorist (tm).

      (1) I know that ACPO currently have their own national ANPR system, but this is fairly basic and only covers trunk routes and a few key points

  12. Christoph Silver badge
    Joke

    " it will call you an ambulance should you need it."

    "You're an ambulance!"

    1. Ted Treen
      Coat

      @Christoph

      Thanks, I needed that!

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        @Ted Treen & Christoph

        ROFLMAO^2

      2. Mpeler
        Coat

        Re: @Christoph

        Big John and Fire Truck....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Eastern European Parliament

    'Ex' totalitarian regimes from Eastern Europe are now in a majority in the Parliament...

    And no country has a veto any more.

    The results are becoming clear.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "with only basic details such as the class of vehicle, the type of fuel used [...]"

    Paramedics prioritise accidents by fuel type? Electric/hybrid first, diesel last?

    Or will the environmental hazards determine whether you should receive any help?

    The fuel type alone makes it pretty obvious that eCall is *not* just used for providing quick first aid.

    (Question of time until it replaces speed cameras and displays localised ads on your car's dashboard.)

    1. scrubber
      Mushroom

      Paramedics prioritise accidents by fuel type?

      My nuclear powered car should elicit a pretty swift response.

      DeLorean DMC-12.

      Okay, it's technically an electric car, but it uses nuclear fuel to generate the 1.21 gigawatts needed to run.

    2. Steve 53

      Well, I would imagine it's to determine if there is a risk of Diesel spill.

      As far as false alarms. My guess would be this is tied to airbag deployment - and if those went off randomly on a pothole then I think we'd all be in trouble

    3. GettinSadda
      Mushroom

      Question: If you were a fireman, would you like to know before approaching it that the mangled vehicle has an LPG tank? Or compressed hydrogen?

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Will it include details of the load that a lorry is carrying? Especially if it's wearing a Hazchem code. Those firemen would really like to know in advance if it's carrying something like ClF3.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          CIF3

          Is that the latest kitchen surface cleaner?

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: CIF3

            "Is that the latest kitchen surface cleaner?"

            Oh yes, it will definitely clean your kitchen surfaces. Then the kitchen. Then the foundations of the kitchen. It'll be spotless.

    4. Chad H.

      >>>>>>Paramedics prioritise accidents by fuel type? Electric/hybrid first, diesel last?

      I think that information is more for the Fire/Rescue teams.

      My Stepfather is a Firefighter, and I remember when Hybrid cars were introduced, the manufacturers had to give them special training to disengage the batttery before going through to rescue the person - as the shifting of the vehicle in the rescue might result in the car just taking off.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        "as the shifting of the vehicle in the rescue might result in the car just taking off."

        At last! Flying cars! (And no-one told me :( )

  15. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    All I need now ..

    .. is a jammer that cuts out when I have an accident.

    What is going on? Did they not renew the subscription on the terrorist excuse?

  16. Mark C 2

    Free?

    "..free to all citizens..."

    So who will pay for it, can the EU confirm the equipment cost will be absorbed by car manufacturers? Didn't think so. Who will pay for the alert service, funded by the EU...through our taxes perhaps?

    It won't have an 'off' button but you can disconnect it if it is a discrete component, and if you own the car you can put a drill through it.

    Standby for leak revealing financial relationship between eCall supplier and MEPs...

    1. Credas Silver badge

      Re: Free?

      Indeed - where's the cost impact assessment of this latest EU Parliament unicorn law? Over 12m new cars are sold a year, so that's going to be, what, £200m+ a year just to fit the modules? And it's no use pointing out how the total number of people who die on the roads; this is only going to help in the small subset of cases where somebody is fatally injured, and incapacitated, and there's nobody with them who has a mobile, and nobody with a mobile passes by before they die. Don't politicians just love passing feel-good laws when they don't have to worry about where the money's coming from.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Free?

      "..free to all citizens..."

      That's goverment-speak for "paid for by all citizens, whether they use it or not"

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Free?

        "That's goverment-speak for "paid for by all citizens, whether they use it or not""

        Isn't that also the definition of the "public services" that politicians dribble on about all the time?

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Free?

          Isn't that also the definition of the "public services"

          True, but no-one claims they're "free".

    3. Terry Barnes

      Re: Free?

      "So who will pay for it"

      I presume that much like other safety improvements that have been mandated, the manufacturer pays for it initially and the cost is recouped through sales. Manufacturers have an incentive to keep that cost low because they operate in a competitive market.

      The alert service is not much more complicated than a GSM SIM - so the ongoing cost is lower than Amazon's cost for running a 3G Kindle, given that there's no data or calls being made on any kind of regular basis.

    4. Ben Liddicott

      Re: Free?

      It won't have an 'off' button but you can disconnect it if it is a discrete component, and if you own the car you can put a drill through it.

      Don't be daft, it'll be illegal to tamper with "safety equipment"....

      1. ISP

        Re: Free?

        "Don't be daft, it'll be illegal to tamper with "safety equipment"...."

        It'll certainly be an MOT failure if it brings a warning light on in the dash.

  17. h 2

    "without the explicit consent"

    "Nor is any of the data gathered allowed to be passed on to third parties without the explicit consent of the person involved."

    I'm sure in the small print of the pages and pages of small print when you buy the car, you will have a tick box to give your consent.

    At a change of ownership would any "explicit approval" be reset ?

    If an ambulance is called, a Police car will always follow.

    Who pays for the ambulance, the vehicle that got connected first?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "without the explicit consent"

      "I'm sure in the small print of the pages and pages of small print when you buy the car, you will have a tick box to give your consent."

      More likely it'll be a tick box to require privacy.

      "Nor is any of the data gathered allowed to be passed on to third parties without the explicit consent of the person involved."

      Notice how nowhere have they stated what the criminal sanctions will be against anyone who allows it to become known to a third party, nor the sanctions against any MEP / MP who votes in favour of something that does not include such basic protections.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "without the explicit consent"

        Im sure "every" new motor insurance policy will have a waiver granting the insurance company explicit consent to access the "current and historical " data contained on the eCall system in you vehicle for whatever and any reason they wish.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: "without the explicit consent"

      > I'm sure in the small print of the pages and pages of small print when you buy the car, you will have a tick box to give your consent.

      When you buy the car? Every bloody single journey more like.

  18. ElNumbre
    Go

    Track Me

    At least 'Europe' will know that in the mornings during the week, I tend to drive to work, and in the evenings I tend to drive home. Sometimes at the weekend, I drive to the shops, but not often as that's why the internet was already invented.

    Living in an urban conurbation my vehicular movements are tracked on a daily basis thanks to ANPR, and no doubt GCHQ can see where my phone is, and where I'm accessing my web accounts from, so actually, the 2 tons of metal sat in the car park showing as a single dot amongst all the vehicular dots in Europe doesn't really bother me that much.

    Or maybe I need to attend paranoia courses?

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Track Me @ ElNumbre

      Yes, you need to attend paranoia classes.

      The type that teaches you to be more paranoid.

  19. Anon5000

    I suspect this is because the security services are having problems with ANPR due to cloning of number plates, whereas a permanent tracker in a car gives a unique identifier. An added bonus of not having to pay for more ANPR cameras to gain better coverage and the cost is moved to the car manufacturer/motorist instead of the police/state/security services.

    Needs a physical disable switch for the security conscious motorist. Or else Jolly John at the garage will be modifying unique identifiers in the engine management instead of turning back the mileage.

  20. AMBxx Silver badge
    Big Brother

    What about pedestrians?

    Surely they need a similar system so that we know where they all are and can call an ambulance on their behalf?

    Time to leave the EU.

  21. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

    Article needs some edits...

    “It will be illegal to use eCall to track a driver’s movements or to misuse location data, which must be sent only to the emergency services..." .... Which will include the security services, of course, and anyone who pays us sufficient 'donations' to be redefined as an emergency service.

    "Nor is any of the data gathered allowed to be passed on to third parties without the explicit consent of the person involved".... which will involve checking a tiny opt-out checkbox clause on page 79 of the agreement. Besides, selling data to selected partners is different to just passing it on, right?

    I know we've all been promised before that data will be anonymised, used for a specific purpose and never, ever, ever passed on to third party interests, but this time its true, honest. And no, I can promise you that no one will be able to slurp the "metadata" because we've made it illegal to do so.

    Whats that about those that don't learn from history?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Article needs some edits...

      "Whats that about those that don't learn from history?"

      Pardon?

  22. H2Nick

    No chance of scope creep here...

    Just think what (they said) RIPA was for & what it was actually used for

    http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/TheGrimRIPA.pdf

    Or prevention of terrorism used to prevent Walter Wolfgang from rejoining the Labour conference

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1499466/Heckler-82-who-dared-called-Straw-a-liar-is-held-under-terrorist-law.html

    Or my car failing it's MOT due to a blown number plate bulb.

    (MOTs were initially introduced as a safety improvement)

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: No chance of scope creep here...

      No chance of the insurance companies saying that if you give them access to your data they will not double your rates.

  23. Tim #3

    Security

    Is there any mention of how this will be made secure? Otherwise I can see it won't be long before a load of fake calls are being generated akin to the "swatting" that goes on when gamers etc fall out, in escalation of road-rage incidents. Or even to divert the "emergency" services to distant areas when a criminal activity is planned to occur.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Security

      Or worse, lure the emergency services to a faked accident, with an IED in the car.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This feature caters for the scenario where:

    1) You have a crash where you are injured so badly that you can't call for help yourself.

    2) But the crash is not bad enough to kill you or damage the device.

    3) The area is inhabited enough to have good cell phone coverage and speedy emergency response

    4) But there is not a single other people there who could call for help.

    I can't help thinking that there are almost no circumstances where this would be the case.

  25. Justin B

    Old news

    This has been on BMWs for ages... http://www.euroncap.com/rewards/bmw_assist_advanced_ecall.aspx

    It has a SIM in the car and dials their call centre upon a crash, airbags, being upside down etc. Then they dial into you via that SIM to talk with the occupants and then escalate to 999.

    You're already carrying a tracking device and can be / are tracked everywhere, so get over it.

    1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Old news

      luckily, I don't drive a BMW so I'd be surprised if they were tracking me.

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: Old news

        luckily, I don't drive a BMW so I'd be surprised if they were tracking me.

        If you have another cell-connected device, they're tracking you should they feel the urge.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not far enough

    This device knows where you are, so it can know the speed limit too. Boom. No more speeding.

    Maybe it can have proximity sensors too. Boom. No more tailgating.

    The system could also be polled to see who was at an incident. Boom. No more hit and runs.

    Link it to the police and the engine. Boom. No more stolen cars/joyrides.

    So those opposing are probably hiding something. Maybe they need to retake their driving test?

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Not far enough

      Yes, Anonymous Coward - it's terrible when people hide things!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not far enough

        Because "Christoph" is your full given name and uniquely identifies you. Give me strength!

        Anonymity in a public place is a real thing. But if one starts acting like a twat (i.e. ignoring the law) then expect that anonymity to be lifted. And fast.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Not far enough

          No matter what laws may be enacted by future governments? Were certain people acting like twats in Germany when they ignored the law that told them they had to get into a cattle truck?

    2. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Not far enough

      AC - there is a corollary to "nothing to hide, nothing to fear" which is "something to hide, nothing to fear" when the "something" is trivial. Legal positivists like you are a plague on humanity.

  27. Hellcat

    So this puts more ambulances on the road?

    When my young son was hit square in the lower back by a dinghy travelling at high speed causing him significant pain, how rapidly do you think the ambulance got there considering it was in a town centre, an under 10 year old, with a spinal injury, wet and cold, laid on a concrete slipway?

    Three hours. We would have been waiting even longer for a paramedic to turn up to let the ambulance driver take him to hospital had we not given them premission to drive him there... slowly.

    So permit me to consider this whole situation with some scepticism. It might call up for an ambulance, but there won't be any available.

    1. Kernel

      Re: So this puts more ambulances on the road?

      Well, if this had happened in one New Zealand city I would say the reason for the 3 hour response time would be that the ambulance was busy picking up ambulance service management types from the pub after a night out and delivering them home - vastly more important than dealing to the merely sick or injured, apparently, as the crew were told that the taxi job had to be completed before the call was handled.

  28. Arachnoid

    Tracking

    Im sure insurance companys and the highways agencys would be interested in such devices which give live vehicle meta data and actual vehicle usage.Its too tempting a target to be ignored and abused much the same as a Govermentally controlled central databse.

  29. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    without the explicit consent

    What could possibly go wrong? Given the general level of disrespect government and business (like insurance, banking, etc) have for the populace; my reply is EVERYTHING. Just Say No!

  30. Wolfclaw Silver badge
    FAIL

    No Tracking .. Rubbish

    As if GCHQ an dthe other secuirty agencies won't hack a way in to do illegal monitoring. As for selling on data, we'll I wouldn't trust our Government, Insurance companies or the agency overseeing eCall system as far as I spit !

    1. Bob Wheeler

      Re: No Tracking .. Rubbish

      GCHQ is not the issue here.

      The real reason for this being rolled out is to allow the govenment's to intorduce road charging.

      After some years of all new cars being fitted with GPS and SIM, it is not much effort for a daily call to the Highways agency telling them where and when your car was. You'll get charged more if you drive in rush hour, you get charged more for using a motorway etc etc.

  31. Ilmarinen
    Unhappy

    "the new system, which is free for all citizens"

    Presumably paid for by the money fairy.

    Like all the other unnecessary extra complexity that you get when you buy a car, forced on you by EU directive.

  32. Tanuki

    False triggering.

    I wonder how long someone will work out where the "sweet spot" is for the trigger? And parked cars are suddenly calling the emergency-swervices.

    I'm reminded of a certain car of a few years back where there was an impact-sensor fitted somewhere up behind the front bumper: giving the right area a thwack with a suitably heavy tool caused the central-locking to unlock (because, obviously, if you've been in a crash the last thing you want is for the doors to stay locked...)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Explicit consent

    and of course none of the insurance companies won't make it a condition of your policy that in the event of a claim you have to hand over the data or more likely they can just take it themselves as you have consented. If the illegal sharing clause said you could not contractually insist on consent I'll be very surprised

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old bangers rule

    I'll keep my 1997 Volvo. Reasonably gadget free.

    1. Woodnag

      Re: Old bangers rule

      Sorry, is it you or your car that's the old banger?

    2. MrXavia

      Re: Old bangers rule

      Or you could buy a luxury car now, that will run for 200,000+ miles (well if an old banger can handle 150k, surely a new car can handle 200+, and you can drive in luxury without a tracker...

      but instead you drive an old volvo...

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Old bangers rule @MrXavia

        There are too many stupid sensors on a modern car that fail, often in difficult to diagnose ways, and which cost ridiculous amounts of money to replace (a friend's 55-plate Octavia diesel has had a problem with falling into limp-mode for no obvious reason, and the price for sensors was frightening). A relatively simple car pre-2000 will run forever without these problems, and can be fixed at home, or cheaply at a tame garage, if anything does go wrong. I'll stick with my policy of buying old cars and keeping them running, thanks.

      2. Vic

        Re: Old bangers rule

        well if an old banger can handle 150k, surely a new car can handle 200+

        200+, for sure. But I'd not assume 200k+...

        New cars are built for profit, not reliability.

        Vic.

  35. Sebastian A

    Yeah yeah, I'm an ancient fossil...

    but to me it's just another wire to cut in whatever car I end up getting.

  36. Oldfogey

    2018 .... lets see

    By the time I buy a car built in 2018, it will be 2028 or so.

    I will then be pushing 80.

    Can this be programmed to give me a wake-up call when I get to the shops?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So basically....

    It's the equivalent of Tomtom/Garmin live traffic, hooked up to the vehicle's CANBUS or whatever it's called, and also connected through to the 112/999 dispatchers?

    To be honest, it sounds like they aren't talking about anything the private sector won't have implemented in the next 10 years anyhow - except for the actual emergency services connection, that is. Without government involvement that would be well down the list behind the Adsense/FaceYouTwat/Experian datalinks.

    It sounds pretty unavoidable to me. The 'One more wire to cut / I'll buy old cars forever" brigade will mostly fade away when faced with a 600+% 'risk premium' on their insurance plus the inevitable bias against them in any accident investigation. "you mean you deliberately disabled/evaded the tracking and recording software every responsible road user relies upon to improve road safety? Why would you have done that if you weren't intending to drive like a maniac and cause accidents?"

  38. IsJustabloke Silver badge

    on the upside....

    There's no mention of retro fitting the things to older cars... yet,

    This is not dissimilar to the recent experiment with insurance company's offering to fit a black box to your car to monitor your driving .... that experiment was deemed a failure because unsurprisingly not enough drivers were willing to be monitored every time they got in the car.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: on the upside....

      Last time I bothered to look, Progressive has collected more than half-a-billion miles of trip data from their customers, voluntarily. Without have access to their actuarial data and books, I can't say how they are handling the discount spread. It looks like it's a straight discount over their normal freight.

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