Locating the Real Problem

A Fast Company article on GPS tells the story of how that technology is permeating every part of the modern business world. Two items, however, give me pause.

Privacy. The author convinces a GPS vendor to let his guard down and discuss more advanced applications of the technology. The exec “starts talking about insurance companies selling you auto insurance based on how you actually use your car, say, a month at a time. They review the GPS information on where you’ve driven, how far, to what areas of town, and how fast (speeding, eh?) and bill you for the risks that you’re taking. Progressive Insurance has in fact done a trial using just such a system in Texas.” I stand with the author when he adds “Holy mackerel. The insurance company will have records of everywhere I drive and how fast I drive there.” Then imagine what would happen when people sued for this information, or cops requested it…

Efficiency. Services such as expediter Con-Way NOW use GPS to rush shipments for clients. One client is Ford: “Ford books an average of 1,000 such shipments of auto parts each month.” Do you think that perhaps if you need 12,000 rush shipments per year you might just have systemic problems that should be addressed? Yeah, I think so.

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