• 22
2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

Automotive News' Hans Greimel posted a piece of interest last week titled "Why EV drivers should worry about Big Brother" (sub. req.). Greimel explains that, at least for electric vehicle (EV) drivers, the "all-seeing eye of Big Brother knows where you've been" and suggests that an EV's connection to the Internet holds the potential to open the door to a host of additional privacy concerns. The Internet connection that Greimel touches on is primarily used to monitor the vehicle's location, charge status and driving range, but, at least in theory, could allow Big Brother to track the car's every move. Greimel opens the article with this:
Imagine an Orwellian future where faceless international corporations track your every move. Drop by the bar after work, call in sick to go to the beach, visit your mistress' house. The all-seeing eye of Big Brother knows where you've been.
While the advanced systems found in EVs are designed to assist drivers of battery-powered autos in locating charging stations and to help them adjust their driving style to extract maximum range, it's not much of a stretch to imagine how this could quickly become a tool for collecting personal data and tracking a vehicle's whereabouts – to collect road taxes, for example. The ability to collect and store this data is already in place, as is a pledge to keep this information confidential, but what's to say that a judge won't summons this information to help convict someone of a crime or that a lawyer's request to see vehicle history records, as they pertain to a multi-million dollar lawsuit, will always be denied?


Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf info screen
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf info screen
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf info screen
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf info screen
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf info screen
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf info screen
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Nissan Leaf info screen

Photos copyright ©2010 Sebastian Blanco / AOL

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 2 Months Ago
      Perhaps the Big Brother is a oil and automotive establishment that wants to scare you away from these new-fangled scary 'electric vehicles' and keep you addicted to oil and the ICE?
      • 4 Years Ago
      So, does this guy, Griemel know about cell phones ?
      • 2 Months Ago
      It's not like they can't track my cell phone anyways. Why would I care?
      • 2 Months Ago
      "Imagine an Orwellian future where faceless international corporations track your every move."

      You mean like Apple monitoring and sharing its iPhones, iPads and computers. users precise locations?

      http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/06/apple-location-privacy-iphone-ipad.html
      • 2 Months Ago
      The persons who fret about "big brother" have mischief in mind.
        • 2 Months Ago
        If you're charing at public charging infrastructure then you shouldn't expect "privacy" (whatever you mean by that). If people can see you charging there, then your actions are not private. Are you only going to charge when there's no one around?
        • 2 Months Ago
        So, someone not intent on mischief should have no expectation of privacy? I happen to disagree.
      • 2 Months Ago
      Lets not shoot the messenger, if we where to look for problems in every new innovation we would surely be able to find some thing. Anyhow if you where to use your vehicle for illegal purposes, and some judge gave them access your records etc so be it. Do you really think that the majority of honest law abiding citizen should worry about that. what about if you where to have a heart attack or a debilitating problem which rendered you unable to drive in some isolated location, maybe they could find you much sooner, and even save your life. You could talk about the ifs and buts all day, and still not reach a conclusion, I say go green and help save the planet. Electric cars are just part of the solution.
        • 2 Months Ago
        @mylexicon,
        Brilliant logic. So if someone walks around your workplace saying you have a history of stealing and that is why you've changed jobs before, I assume you just smile and ignore it because you're a good guy and assume it will all work out because you're a good guy?

        When people spread outright lies or exaggerate bad things about you or something you believe in, you can choose to ignore it and trust the goodness of mankind and the brilliance of people to know the difference to make it all right. Good luck with that.

        Defending yourself or something you believe in when people lie does not mean you're weak or that you're a bad person. I'm not sure where you get that logic, but it makes absolutely no sense.
        • 2 Months Ago
        He's not exaggerating the danger, he's simply repeating governmental tactics to capture personal information. Furthermore, the people who are acting out of fear are the pro-EV crowd who believe that unwashed consumers will freak out b/c of this article. Consumers were too dumb to stop the government in the first place so what are you crying about?

        This world would be a lot better place if greenies had faith in their own movement. If it's really as great as you say, then it won't be ruined by articles like this one. Furthermore, the writer does have a point b/c maybe we shouldn't allow Uncle Sam to subpoena records that contain details of our whereabouts, our preferred vendors, and our favorite products.

        Good ideas always win in the end. If EV's are the wave of the future (not a neurotic cultural change) then they will succeed. You vote "no confidence" in your own movement when you lash out.
        • 2 Months Ago
        What if the "messenger" is spreading Fear Uncertanty Doubt by wildly exaggerating the dangers, and making an unwarranted connection between EVs and Telematics? Of course, the answer is to point out the serious flaws in their argument.

        The telematics that seem to have Mr. Greimel so very upset have been available in regular gas cars for some time, and are becoming increasingly common due to their benefits and reasonable cost. There is nothing inherent about EVs that would require the use of telematics, they'd be installed for the same reasons they're installed in non-plug-in cars, because they provide convenience and safety features for the drivers. Nobody is forcing anyone to use these conveniences, they can be removed, and the service will be discontinued if the car owner refuses to pay the monthly fee (after the initial "free" trial period).
      • 4 Years Ago
      So all these people using GM's OnStar and Ford's Sync on a ICE cars for years have been fooled? Any internet-connected car can be tracked or hacked.

      Sorry but this is just more F.U.D from the anti-EV ranks.
        • 2 Months Ago
        For sure.. not specific to EV's at all. Wanna live away from big brother's eyes? go live in a log cabin in Montana.
        • 2 Months Ago
        First response nails it. Why single out EVs? OnStar has been able to track you for a long time. And cell phones can track you.

        Why not just warn drivers in general instead of making EVs some kind of evil boogeyman?
        • 2 Months Ago
        Add credit cards to that list. Any time you use your card, BIG BROTHER knows where you are, when you're there, and has a pretty good idea of what you're buying too.
      • 2 Months Ago
      He's right.
      I refuse to go to the doctors anymore because they all could be planting government microchips in me.

      Luckily there is little wrong in the world so I have time to worry about this crap.
      • 2 Months Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      so electric car and car internet connections are logically equivalent...

      and how is this different than tracking cell phones which is much more precise than merely your car. you may borrow a car or ride with another but rarely a cell phone.

      the only protection from evil is eternal vigilance. a pursuit of truth and wisdom. and evil needs no 3g connection to reach you. you think of them as your own thoughts. this you will not understand
      • 2 Months Ago
      Great, lets give the great unwashed masses yet another BS reason to be scared of EVs.

      As everyone above pointed out, every cell phone, laptop or any other device we have these days already does this.

      • 2 Months Ago
      Will Big Brother "keep an eye" on bloggers who write outrageous lies about our glorious leader?

      The CIA has a computer program called " " (name redacted) that has the capability to ... (redacted) at any time. It can even connect to your ... (device redacted) at will to ... (redacted) whenever they want to.
    • Load More Comments