Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
My reply: The easiest way is to not buy a car equipped with such “tech.” Unfortunately, that means not buying almost any new car as almost all of them already have such “tech.”
It is usually marketed as “concierge” service, such as GM’s OnStar system, for instance – and the equivalent systems sold by other car companies; more accurately, which they build into their cars and which you haven’t got much choice about buying, if you decide to buy one of their cars.
It is safe to assume that if the car has “concierge” service, GPS or a touchscreen and “apps” it is a Big Brother Car designed to data mine you and very possibly capable of tracking you, too.
Some believe that by not “subscribing” to the “concierge” service you are disconnected from the Hive Mind. I doubt this. I also doubt the efficacy of disconnecting the antenna – the “shark fin” on most modern cars – at least in terms of not causing problems with the car’s systems, including (obviously) the audio system, which will probably no longer be able to receive AM/FM or satellite transmissions, though it may still be able to stream from your device.
I’d rather err on the safe side and just avoid anything new. This has other advantages as well since the older stuff is less gratuitously complex and so likely to cost you less to maintain. I think it’s smart to keep an older car going than to buy a new car, irrespective of the “tech” issue.
New cars have become obscenely expensive to buy, usurious to insure and cost you a fortune in property taxes, where those apply.
Plus, they’re just creepy!
. . .
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