Jim Farley, the global vp of marketing and sales at Ford, tells Business Insider he made a mistake when he implied that Ford gathers so much data from GPS units inside its customers’ cars that the company knows when they’re speeding or breaking the law.
“I absolutely left the wrong impression about how Ford operates. We do not track our customers in their cars without their approval or their consent,” he says. “The statement I made in my eyes was hypothetical and I want to clear this up.”
Yeah, that’s the ticket, it’s a hypothetical, yeah.
A Ford spokesperson later told Business Insider that in general, GPS units in Ford cars are not routinely pinging out their whereabouts as customers drive around. Rather, Ford cars have several on-board services such as “Sync Services Directions” (a navigation device that works with drivers’ phones) and 911 Assist, which users have to switch on and opt into. And employers can use a service called “Crew Chief” to monitor their corporate car fleet. Data coming from those services is generally used only to improve services, a spokesperson says.
Look, our national security weirdos are sending out alerts for people carrying Farmers Almanacs and warning of al whoda attacks using old pickem up trucks, so why wouldn’t I wonder about Ford and Chevy getting NSLs from the FBI? I mean, why not?