GM Causes Uproar with Potential Privacy Scandal in new Roadster
"Outraged, Infuriated" are just a couple of the words that are being used by owners of Pontiac's latest addition to the roadster market, the 2006 Pontiac Solstice, after it was revealed that hundreds of new cars were equipped by GM with a small micro camera in the dash board of some of the first 1,000 Solstices sold.
General Motors Reports that approximately two hundred of the first one thousand Pontiac Solstices were equipped with a micro camera capable of transmitting still pictures of the driver back to Pontiac through the Onstar satellite network owned by GM. It's still unclear exactly what GM's motivations for placing the cameras in the cars was, or why it was installed in only some of the Solstices. Observers have speculated that GM may have intended to use the photos for marketing purposes. GM representatives were unavailable for comment.
Vehicles with the micro camera installed have what is described as a small plastic bubble on the dash board behind the instrumentation panel that is visible from the drivers seat. Contained within the bubble is a quarter inch camera that records still pictures of the driver while the vehicle is running. Solstice owners are advised to check their vehicles for the presence of this camera and may return their cars to the dealer for removal at no cost to them.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based public-interest organization, and privacy group Junkbusters, as well as at least five other groups have already expressed plans to ask the FTC to mandate that consumers be made aware of any recording device installed in new vehicles in the factory.
It has been a wide spread practice for vehicle manufactures to install devices that monitor and record information regarding a vehicle's operation including information such as speed, passenger weight, and accelleration and braking information. Such information has been used in the past to defend vehicle manufactures in product defect lawsuits. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, however, says that this case is very different in two important ways. This is the first known case of a device that transmits the recorded data back to the manufacturer, and this is the first known case of a device capable of taking pictures of the vehicle driver or passengers.
:lol: Just kidding, of course. But does any one know what the bubble is really for? Seriously, go look at the dash of your Solstice on the driver side, what is that thing??? Am I just part of some reality TV show organized by GM and Donald Trump himself?