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The argument of privacy and trusting people of the community is largely argued in the documentary titled Big Brother Big Business. Internet searches are being reported, driving habits are being monitored, employees are surveilled, shoppers are analyzed, personal phone calls are monitored all with the hopes that more information can be gathered on each person within our society. However the question proses itself: When is the line drawn of too much surveillance? In May 2005, a family died in a fatal car crash that happened on the site of a busy highway.
Thomas Wellington, the driver at fault for the accident had a tracking device in his car called an Event Data Recorder (EDR) or black box. This black box comes standard in all vehicles now and captures what happens in an automobile in the seconds before and after airbags are released. The data collected from the black box gave the proper evidence to the prosecuting court in order to prove that he was guilty of crime.
They were able to see that he was excessively speeding and had not attempted to brake before hitting the other vehicle. Because of the information gathered from the tracking system, he was sentenced to a minimum of 19 years in jail.
This advance in society was able to do good by putting someone away that has caused serious harm to an entire family. The use of the black box proves to be a beneficial system of gathering information on different tendencies drivers have. While in the case of the car accident in May 2005, the black box served as a benefit to society, some however are worried about the misuse of tracking devices in vehicles.
Eric Odero was subject to this exact “out of the loop” feeling when he was tracked while using a rental vehicle. Due to his lack of understanding of the user agreement, he decided to travel out of state to Las Vegas with the rental car which would in turn jack up the price of his rental. Unbenounced to him, his exact location was being tracked by a GPS system installed in the rental car. When he returned, he saw the bill at the tenant’s and was utterly surprised. The tenant charged $1 for every mile driven out of state. Eric was outraged at this and questioned the tenant’s motives. Since the owner of the vehicle had the liberty to install whatever GPS tracking system he would like in his vehicle, Eric had no case. However, Eric still felt that his privacy was invaded. This story of Eric’s use of rental cars illustrates the lack of trust in today’s society and his unawareness of the tracking system used to see what he had been doing is a feeling many experience while subject to surveillance.
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