Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Slick New Ways to Use Autonomous Vehicles to Track You (and the stories they can reveal) TSLA

From the Observer, September 8:
C-3PO tends to be most people’s first representation of a super smart robot. Star Wars’ beloved protocol droid acts very much as an individual, with its own distinct personality. The films never address the question, but C-3PO’s intellgence appears to reside entirely on the droid’s CPU.
But when artificially intelligent machines become prevalent here in the real world, they won’t work like that at all. Self-driving cars won’t really drive themselves. They will be driven largely by brains in the cloud.

The U.S. House of Representative’s unanimously passed a bill this week offered by Ohio’s Rep. Bob Latta, greenlighting the deployment of autonomous vehicles. Key leaders in the Senate have expressed an appetite for such legislation, but its language on riders’ privacy looks inadequate to some advocates.

All the cars’ many sensors will beam information gathered directly to online navigation systems. That’s piles of data about road conditions, weather and other cars on the road. Those logs can be directly associated with the people riding in the car. It’s the simplest pieces of data about each trip that are probably the most revealing: where it started, where it ended and who was in the car.

Here’s a few instances when simple route information could reveal too much:
  • Lots of trips taking place between two competing companies could suggest a merger deal underway,
  • If one firm has lots of specialized accountants and lawyers visiting, that could indicate there’s trouble on its books or
  • If one employee has taken multiple trips to another company’s office, that could indicate that they are in talks to switch jobs.
Sound paranoid? It shouldn’t, because we’ve seen it before....

Just last week Elon Musk was pitching this as a feature not a bug. From Interesting Engineering:
Elon Musk Hints Future Tesla Cars Could Predict Where You Want to Go