Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Nasir asks: Eric, big fan of yours, and mostly agree with everything you say. One area Im not 100 percent with you is dashcams – which you have said before you are a fan of.
Why? Firstly – here in the UK if anything happens, the police can force you to hand them over. If you don’t (or accidentally hit delete) you get done for obstruction of justice. People have been done for speeding here by their own dashcams!
The bigger reason however Im against them is that what about others having them, particularly Clovers?
Last year my fear was becoming a reality because one company actually created a database for everyone to voluntarily update video of anything they see on the road that’s not Clover approved. Originally it was sold to the sheep as a way government send people advice on driving or highlighting dangerous driving. What I was afraid of was police will eventually just turn to the database and look for “crimes” every time they wanted to get paid. Unfortunately that’s exactly what has happened one short year later!
It seems seems all so reminiscent of stories we used to hear about communist Russia where people would report on another for various crimes – and goes another step further to creating the perfect police state. What’s worse is now the more desperate the government gets for money – the more they will look into the database to fish out past crimes. In the future, given many cars themselves have cameras all around them, it’s just a matter of time before some clover in tech will figure out a brilliant way to make them all dashcams and them eventually with black boxes/connected cars the cops will have access to all of the data. I guess my question is do you see any hope with where this is going?
My reply: You paint a dark – and very possible future scenario. Especially as regards built-in cameras in “connected” cars. Video can be streamed to the insurance mafia or the government – both of them – just as easily as data about your location and speed and so on.
You’re also right that one car could narc out another car – with its Clover driver even having to bother about it.
Right now, the situation – in the United States – is a little better than in the UK because we still have the technicalities of the First and Fourth Amendment, though both have been heavily “modified” by the government – the arbiter of its own powers. So there is utility in having a camera to record interactions with AGWs as well as to document what actually happened when an accident happens.
But, I get your point. And I agree that what you are already dealing with is something we in America will be dealing with soon – and that we’ll both be dealing with the things you dread cameras will be used for in the near future.
Ten years ago, such talk would have been viewed by most as alarmist – even pathological (paranoid).
Today, it’s as obvious as a freight train coming down the tracks 100 yards away. Yet most people seem almost narcoleptically blase about this Brave New World of near-total observation (which means near-total control) that is emerging all around them.
I suppose they imagine it will be benign – or they are just resigned to the inevitability of it.
God help us.
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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