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How do they use your data ...

For those who wonder how [at least one of] the mfrs are using our telemetry.

Some years ago I was the database and data analysis designer for Ford's Focus BEV during its first model year. The car has a cellular module with a unique IMEI, which is like your computer's MAC number. Ford made bulk purchases on the AT&T network.

The telemetry was gathered from the OBD unit, formatted, and then transmitted roughly twice/minute. The data streams from all the cellular calls were collected by a store-and-forward provider. This step consolidated all the conversations into a single stream. We used an Internet socket interface to read that stream. The interface fired up relational database calls to store the telemetry records. The relational engine triggered on various data conditions in order to provide services back to the owner via the Web.

The services mainly comprised determining adjacency to favorite charging stations and charging times; plus some sort of efficiency calculations which were intended to reward drivers for good driving habits. The rewards were silly and I never paid attention to it.

One of the first questions I asked Ford was, how much telemetry do you want to keep, for how long, and what do you want me to do with it? They mulled it over, and concluded that they didn't have a long-range plan, so I should just keep everything. So I did.

The telemetry included such things as VIN, GPS location, velocity, braking, steering, acceleration, and lots of technical stuff about the propulsion battery state. Ford engineers eventually requested data summaries which essentially eliminated the VIN and IMEI, and aggregated the values by geolocation, time-of-day, or vehicle feature. They were not interested in monitoring individual cars.

Because I could access the raw data, I could monitor by VIN, and so, for my own amusement, built a Google map page which would draw a car's tracks across the country after it left the factory. It was interesting to see how far owners were taking their BEV's. But Ford never requested any such vehicle visualization.

One final recollection. The telemetry included two wacky semaphores: (1) vehicle inverted, (2) passenger compartment compression. The names tell you everything. Although clearly intended to alert someone that a serious accident occurred, during my time on the project, Ford did not request that I provide them with those values.
 

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...... I was the database and data analysis designer for Ford's Focus BEV during its first model year. The car has a cellular module with a unique IMEI, which is like your computer's MAC number. The telemetry was gathered from the OBD unit, ........
While interesting in detail and not surprising, unfortunately these details do not tell us what is happening to the data now, nor what will happen to the data in the future.
 

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While interesting in detail and not surprising, unfortunately these details do not tell us what is happening to the data now, nor what will happen to the data in the future.
Well, that's true: we don't know what will happen to the collected data in the future. If the past is a predictor, it seems to me unlikely that telemetry collection is a privacy threat from the manufacturers.

UNLESS a judge issues a warrant for your car's whereabouts; or if a hacker somehow steals the database in an inside job. I suppose those are possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I had a brief career in Law Enforcement 30 years ago. I don't need to explain my reasons to anyone here, but the answer is pure and simple: I do not want data collected in my car that can be subpeoned at a later point in time. It's nothing to do with whether I'm a bad guy or not. It's everything to do with "my car, my decision" and knowing how trial attorneys can dig through any information trove and turn a saint into a demon and vice versa as the situation calls for it.

If the data isn't there, it can't be (mis)used.

As for all the people replying to a "how to" thread with "nah, don't bother", I do get a chuckle out of the "that wasn't the question asked nor the point raised" factor. Sorry to seem negative, I know every forum has it to a degree, but I never understand the motivation behind posting such a thing.

"How do I reset the bios on my device?"

"Pfft, why would you want to?"

How is that the question? Grandma's old saying about "if you don't have anything useful and/or nice to say..."
 

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dmauser's post does zero to make me feel better about it. That stuff gets misused ALL THE TIME. Corps roll over EVERY F'N TIME one of the agencies request data because they are scared to not to. And rightfully so. The bigger the corp the harder the fall, the big guys are too tied into the politics of being in business to not cooperate. Also the bigger the corp the bigger the target for non government misuse of the data.


I am also not blocking my data, so I'm in the "oh well I'm not a criminal so I'll let them have it" camp myself.. I will not disable mine. But come on guys, a user on the forum requests a very specific answer.. And what does he get? He gets a bunch of blow harding up in his thread.
 

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Just look at the track record over the past decade or two... its honestly hard to find a single example where somebody DIDNT roll over and hand over data when a inappropriate request was made. Yahoo is the only one that comes to mind. Not to mention private criminals who got their hands on huge data stores from big corp, from either lax security or mishandling.

You're fooling yourself if you think theres no chance of this data getting into gov or private hands.. if you're ok with that, then ok.
 

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Although I too am not excited about another database with my location details captured, my life choices (job, lifestyle, etc.) have required me to carry a cell / smartphone with me almost constantly. That tracks my every movement (with or without GPS on) inside or outside the car. So it is what it is.

On another note, you would have been pretty bored looking at my Ford Focus electric data. That car was never more than 40-50 miles from my house. The Bolt is a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
It speaks to the GM deathgrip on OnStar that they make the whole GPS system so difficult to extract from the vehicle. GM just doesn't "get it" when it comes to what consumers want.

I'd be super-happy to have my car just be a "receptacle and screen" for my mobile phone. Android Auto is far from perfect, but that's the posture I much prefer going forward. I may be more geeky than most in my interests, but I'm pretty mainstream in terms of what other people carry/own. OnStar has never appealed to me. I get the remote unlock, theft disable and god-forbid-I-crashed scenarios, I just don't connect those to paying $40+/mo for, essentially, a second phone/line as desirable and justifiable.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
lol, see, I take such memes as a badge of honor. Monkeys think that humans are odd eccentric creatures too ;)
 

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Here's something to think about. I went for the free Sirius/XM 2-month offer they sent me after the car was almost 2-years old [no, I'd never pay for it]. While SXM is one way down, I wonder if GM has a data sharing deal with SXM where GM sends them info via the ATT cellular data connection on what you listen to. If I had to guess, the answer is yes.
 

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AND NOW BACK ON TOPIC!!

This was from a SparkEV, it's the Onstar module. IC402 is the hard-wired SIM module, and CN401 is the external SIM socket, which has been left empty. The resistors (actually jumpers, all black, zero ohms) next to the solder pads (and the CN401 silk) are partially populated, and depending on how you populate them, you can plainly see that they select between the external and internal SIM module. Clearly, some day, an engineer at least was thinking that maybe you could use a different network.

my god - Imagine the flowers, kittens, rainbows and candy sprinkles that would rain down from the heavens if we could snap our own **** SIM card in to our cars.

27128
 
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