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+ - New Privacy Threat: Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation is warning against a new potential privacy threat: cameras that look instead cars and try to identify the people inside them. This technology is a natural combination of simpler ones that have existed for years: face recognition software and road-side cameras (red light cameras, speeding cameras, license plate readers — you name it).

"The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), a government umbrella group that develops transportation and public safety initiatives across the San Diego County region, estimates that 15% of drivers in High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes aren’t supposed to be there. After coming up short with earlier experimental projects, the agency is now testing a brand new technology to crack down on carpool-lane scofflaws on the I-15 freeway. ... In short: the technology is looking at your image, the image of the people you're with, your location, and your license plate. (SANDAG told CBS the systems will not be storing license plate data during the trial phase and the system will, at least for now, automatically redact images of drivers and passengers. Xerox’s software, however, allows police the option of using a weaker form of redaction that can be reversed on request.)"

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Comment: Re:Standard M.O. (Score 3, Interesting) 148

by AdamThor (#48526431) Attached to: How the NSA Is Spying On Everyone: More Revelations

"Only if you are stating that President Obama is irresponsible."

As far as the President goes, there are 3 options that I see:
- President Obama may be irresponsible for allowing this level of intrusive surveillance.
- President Obama may not actually have the ability to change this - he may feel his hands are tied. I'm sure there are lots of things he'd like to do.
- President Obama may be responsible, and have control over the agency, but his positions and responsibilities may no longer be purely civilian.

And of course, Obama only has control over the fed. Police killing people and not being held responsible happens at a local level. The failure to hold the security apparatus responsible seems larger than a single agency or it's nominal overseer.

Comment: Re:Honest question ... (Score 2) 148

by AdamThor (#48525121) Attached to: How the NSA Is Spying On Everyone: More Revelations

"Everyone has been spying on everyone for at least a couple of centuries."

No... people and organizations of means have been spying on other people and organizations that are important to them to an extent dictated by their resources for centuries. It is only recently that it has become practical for a government to spy on _everyone_.

Comment: Re:Standard M.O. (Score 4, Interesting) 148

by AdamThor (#48525021) Attached to: How the NSA Is Spying On Everyone: More Revelations

I guess you can call it illegal, but that sort of implies that there is some sort of authority who can take authority action against transgressors. From the NSA to local police (illegal chokehold, anyone?) the security mechanism in America is without responsible civilian oversight. =(

Comment: Re:You want an idea? How about we fund NASA? (Score 5, Insightful) 352

by AdamThor (#48165109) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Indeed! The actual key in our current generation is to provide consistent direction and funding to NASA. As it is, every president comes in, makes some big talk about the Moon or Mars or something, no resources are allocated, and the next president in line makes a different set of commitments.

A framework for a large-scale goal that is capable of withstanding our political situation is the thing we lack.

Comment: Re:Study is quite incomplete (Score 1) 261

by AdamThor (#48039287) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

"will get you there in about the same time as zoom stop zig zag zoom stop zoom stop and be more pleasant"

Well, if you're into the driving, it's the zoom, stop, zig (etc) that you want. If what you're into is being at your destination then time and relaxation become part of the equation.

"I've come to realize the same as I got older. I used to own a small sports car and drive my commute as spiritedly as I could. Now, I realize my commute in a large German sedan at a leisurely pace is maybe 5 minutes longer but far more pleasant and relaxing."

I think the interesting thing is that a large German sedan is aimed at a leisurely pace (or maybe a rapid pace on the autobahn, but not so much at zipping and weaving). The small sports car is aimed at turns and acceleration. Either car will give you pleasure when driven to its strong suite. The same driver in either car will move toward being a "leisurely" or "zig-zag" type driver.

Your preference for one or another, to a degree, is dependent on the what the car you drive is good at.

I think the notion that one is intrinsically more pleasurable is an illusion, attributable to your own specific situation.

Comment: Re:Oh good (Score 2) 907

by AdamThor (#47995443) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

Car loans are the new house loan. A Car Loan Company with a means of dealing with repossession would end up looking at the value proposition you describe. But they want to bundle and sell car loans these days. The buyer of the loan (on a depreciated car) could not really be said to be at low risk because they're not really prepared to do anything should you miss a payment. But a nearly automated lender response to late / non-payment makes these loans more sale-able.

Missed payment remote kill options are about financial debt bundling and sale.

Some similar financial melt-down is probably on the horizon in that market.

"Time is money and money can't buy you love and I love your outfit" - T.H.U.N.D.E.R. #1