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article imageEV manufacturers provide location data to Chinese government

By Tim Sandle     Dec 1, 2018 in Technology
The Chinese government is collecting precise location data in relation to each electric vehicle driven in the country. Perhaps no surprise given the extent of state surveillance. What is surprising is that vehicle manufacturers provide the data.
According to one news report, over 200 manufacturers of electric vehicles, a list that includes such major players as Volkswagen, Ford, General Motors, BMW, and Tesla, are submitting precise locations of their vehicles to the Chinese government. This forms part of China's surveillance of its citizens.
Electric vehicles has shown strong growth in China, including those designed by Chinese manufacturers and overseas companies. Towards the tail end of 2018, electric vehicle sales in China exceed those in the U.S. According to McKinsey, China’s government has made it a priority to create favorable conditions for a range of electric vehicle stakeholders, including investors and manufacturers.
With such vehicles, monitoring technology is easy to incorporate, if national regulation so requires. This is the case in China, although most drivers will be unaware. Under a set of state laws put in place for the use of alternative energy vehicles, automakers must “constantly” send position information and “dozens of other data points to government-backed monitoring centers,” Jalonpik reports.
The reason for such data gathering is not clear, but it is consistent with China's focus on keeping tabs on its population and visitors to the country. What is of surprise is the ease to which major car makers have acquiesced to China's demands, and have not publicized this fact.
A different take on China's use of technology to trace and track its citizens is seen with the use of facial recognition technology. As Digital Journal has reported, China appears to be making the greatest use of facial recognition software, both in the public and private spheres. This includes gathering data on pedestrians in the big cities, such as their names and social identification numbers.
More about electric vehicles, Surveillance, Government
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