capngrog

Dealer-installed tracking devices

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I realize that this subject is not really a collector car topic; however, it could affect any of us who purchase a vehicle through a dealer.  Below is a link to an on line article in today's Hagerty "The Daily Driver" newsletter.  While familiar with tracking technology, I was unaware that these devices may be routinely installed by auto dealers without the customer's knowledge.  I would not care to have an unauthorized (by me) tracker installed on any of my vehicles, but at the very least, I would expect to be informed by the dealer of the presence of such a device. 

 

My main question is:  "Can these devices be electronically detected?  If so, that would save a potential purchaser from poking around under the dash and behind trim panels (at my age, one of my least favorite things)

 

Anyway, here's the link:

https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/10/31/dealership-installed-nightmare-2016-ram-1500-sport?utm_source=SFMC&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Daily_News_Monday_Nov_4

 

Cheers,

Grog

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I heard somewhere they do it in case if you do not make your monthly car payments.

 

They know where the car is so the Finance company or Dealer can repossess the car. 

Edited by Mark Gregory (see edit history)

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That second key scam would really make me mad. The whole thing is maddening. Those devices that can shut a car down remotely have been around for a long time.

Edited by misterc9 (see edit history)

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If you are making payments it's still technically their car, not yours.  If you own it outright I would think this is clearly illegal.

 

I'm not a fan of the insurance ploy for "good driver aps" - these are vehicle monitoring nanny trackers you volunteer for. 

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You can call GM and have any OnStar-equipped car located and disabled as long as it's not running. I presume most of the other automakers' concierge services can do the same.

 

I always kind of liked the idea of calling OnStar if my car was stolen and telling them I don't necessarily want it back intact, but if the thief is still driving it, please lock the doors, turn the heat up all the way, and pin the throttle to the floor. Oh, and let me know where it is when it finally comes to rest and I'll take it from there.

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So, does one turn your cell phone off when leaving the house?

Someone is always watching you, its the times.

So the other day one of our acquaintances showed a picture of an antique hitch ball in these forums, I commented on it , "I remember those".

I went on Ebay an hour or so later as part of my daily computer habit.

Guess what kind of pictures showed up on the pop ups.

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While I didn't read the whole link. my understanding's been that m'r's have been tracking driving for some time via the VIN tag in the windshield, for warranty purposes---drive abuseivly and maybe have warranty problems...

Jack: join the club...no matter what I research online, I get pop=ups fro that item or product for anywhere from a wekl to a month after...

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Dealer installed or not, thanks to a world full of smart phones and the very low cost tracking tags that piggy back the signal of any close smart phone, you can find your lost dog or anything else you want to track and no one is truly safe from digital stalking. There is a very low cost not to selective pocket size signal scrambler that will keep you from being tracked, but it does tend to mess with everything in the bandwith for about 25 feet and kills cell phone signals along with the uninvited tracking devices.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Digger914 said:

Dealer installed or not, thanks to a world full of smart phones and the very low cost tracking tags that piggy back the signal of any close smart phone, you can find your lost dog or anything else you want to track and no one is truly safe from digital stalking.

Just leave your phone at home and drive your classic. Can't track you if you don't have anything digital to track.

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I've never worked at a dealer that installs those but we come across them sometimes on trade ins back when I worked at Ford/Kia. I don't really care if I'm tracked personally... hence I use a cell phone. Going off the grid takes too much work.

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I didn't take the time to read the link, but I think a tracker that you control would be a good thing to have in any car- collector or daily driver. You likely worked hard for your car, so why should some thief have it? 

 

I've been on message boards since I was 15. I use my actual name...I'm sure I'm being tracked. I don't care. I don't do anything illegal or even immoral so I don't really care who is following along. If whoever is following gets interested in old cars (because it always comes back to that!) than that's a great thing. 

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Back to the question in my original post: "Can these (tracking) devices be electronically detected?"

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Apparently, the Spireon device does some sort of broadcasting over wifi or cell phone networks. If so, it can be detected electronically. In addition, the Kahu system also links to the driver's cell phone, presumably with Bluetooth, so that should also be a give away. The cell phone link does require you to download a Kahu app. More concerning is the list of patents that Spireon has been awarded. In particular, there's US8510200B2, Geospatial data based assessment of driver behavior. Here are some illustrations from that patent.

 

US08510200-20130813-D00008.pngUS08510200-20130813-D00009.pngUS08510200-20130813-D00010.png

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Thanks Joe, I think I understand most of that, and it only increases my sense of unease about these devices.

 

As to folks who don't care about being surveilled, in my opinion it depends on by whom and to what  end is the surveillance being conducted.  In the infamous words of Marshall Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin's Secret Police Chief: "Show me the man, and I'll show you the crime".

 

Cheers,

Grog

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After reading the link my overall take away was "wow what horrible customer service".  All kinds of fleets use similar devices but the key is that the operator is aware that the device is there.  From a fleet managers perspective the data that is available is incredible and immensely valuable in scheduling routine service and monitoring various system warnings.  It is pretty neat when you can see that the Check Engine light is on in a particular unit while sitting at your desk and be able to see what the issue is without having to remove the vehicle from service to perform diagnostics.  I might add that in the event of a serious collision your vehicle is already collecting and recording an incredible amount of information including speed, throttle position, braking, lights on/off, seatbelt use and all kinds of other data.  Gone are the days of police relying on speedometer needle slap at the moment of impact and collecting filaments from the lights to determine if they were on or off. In saying all that at the end of the day the owner/operator should always be aware if a third party device has been added to the vehicle and if a dealership needs to add a tracking device to potentially repossess a vehicle maybe they shouldn't be selling to that customer in the first place.   

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Quote

Back to the question in my original post: "Can these (tracking) devices be electronically detected?"


Yes you can ...

https://www.spygadgets.com/gps-detectors/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAtf_tBRDtARIsAIbAKe2qF4L5TmoivCn4egACBKzudeUYFfH2dGGowUbxgKGEkQlnU8zV-PYaAjazEALw_wcB
Yorkie - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOyVMs-pMes
Yep, it's a grand world alright ...
Do you recall the Ohio massacre... the police put a tracker on a suspects car, suspect found and destroyed tracker, police arrest suspect for destroying tracker.
Yep, it's a grand world alright ...

Edited by 1950panhead (see edit history)

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3 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

 In addition, the Kahu system also links to the driver's cell phone, presumably with Bluetooth, so that should also be a give away. The cell phone link does require you to download a Kahu app.

 

So I am safe with my flip phone, eh.  If it's good enough or Warren Buffett, it's good enough for me.

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Our school bus company has used electronic tracking for years now. They can check our location, speed(and match it to local limits), braking, observe us real time driving, and event record any odd activities.  Not to mention record trip inspections and child checks. The only saving grace is the system is old(2010) and often is non functional.

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12 hours ago, capngrog said:

Thanks Joe, I think I understand most of that, and it only increases my sense of unease about these devices.

 

Yes, my point exactly. It's one thing to willingly use a cell phone (or other device). It's quite another to have one installed that is not known to you.

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Just a thought but starting around 1984 Cell Phones were analog. In the mid 2000s most manufacturers switched to digital. By 2008 most providers stopped servicing analog. I know my '01 is Analog. When did the majors (Onstar, Teleaid, etc) switch from analog to digital ? YWTK

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17 hours ago, Laughing Coyote said:

Just leave your phone at home and drive your classic. Can't track you if you don't have anything digital to track.

Kids might not leave home without their smart phones but most of the dogs I know don't carry cell phones and the tracking tags use whatever cell phone signal is available. Not spot on accurate, but close enough.

 

16 hours ago, capngrog said:

Back to the question in my original post: "Can these (tracking) devices be electronically detected?"

 

Cheers,

Grog

Yes they can and depending on what the device is the equipment to find it can be very pricy.

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So, speaking of cell phones, you do realize that now Google Maps includes a speed limit function that not only tells you the speed limit on the road you're on, but also tells you the speed you are traveling. This info is in your phone and probably can be obtained by the police in the event of an accident. Of course, any car with an airbag also has a data recorder that does the same thing. That has been the subject of several lawsuits in the last few years over who, exactly, owns the data.

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And if the trackers don't get you how about all the plate readers and the enormous amount of data that is "temporarily stored" as to the location of your car whenever you are tagged.

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20 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

So, speaking of cell phones, you do realize that now Google Maps includes a speed limit function that not only tells you the speed limit on the road you're on, but also tells you the speed you are traveling. This info is in your phone and probably can be obtained by the police in the event of an accident. Of course, any car with an airbag also has a data recorder that does the same thing. That has been the subject of several lawsuits in the last few years over who, exactly, owns the data.

 

They need a warrant for your cell phone info, they just can't check it.

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