Big Brother

Well, it’s happening. I just received a letter from State Farm informing me about their “In-Drive” program. Like many car insurance companies these days, they’re offering a 5% discount on insurance rates if I submit to 24/7 monitoring of my driving. They’ll send me a device that I install in my car; it’s a combination GPS receiver and transmitter that informs my State Farm overlords where I am at all times.

Obviously the intention is to monitor my habits and find out how often I exceed the speed limit, and so forth. But I have grave concerns about the abuse of this technology. No networked devices are safe from attack, and it’s only a matter of time before malicious players figure out how to access car location data. The most obvious purpose would be to know when I’m not at home so a simple home burglary could be committed, but it seems to be that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And don’t even get me started about how government agencies can use– err, I mean abuse– location data on millions of citizens.

At this point In-Drive is an optional program, but I know that it’s only a matter of time before it’s required by all insurance carriers. Ugh.