The Sunday Times reports that the EU and US authorities are planning to fit satellite trackers to all cars to monitor speed, location/routes taken and the wearing of seatbelts:
BLACK box recorders could be installed in all new cars under a European Union ruling.
The aircraft-style equipment would also act as a tracker, using global positioning satellites to record the location and route of a vehicle and to tell how fast a driver is going and whether seatbelts are being worn.
Data recovered from the boxes could give investigators important clues on how accidents are caused.
However, British motoring groups fear the technology could be used by government to introduce a national congestion charge or to keep tabs on people’s movements.
The European commission has asked the police forces of member states to look at whether the technology could improve road safety. Every year about 50,000 people are killed on European roads and another 3.5m are injured.
If, as expected, the police give their backing, manufacturers would be required to install black boxes in all new cars by 2009.
The National Transportation Safety Board in America also wants to make them mandatory by the same date. Already 15% of vehicles in the US are fitted with the palm-sized devices. Most new cars there have them fitted as standard. (Emphasis added)
Oddly enough, a couple of years back, the UK government was proposing similar stuff as a means of performing nation-wide congestion charging/road tolling.
The day when you’re activities are continuously tracked 24/7 is not long off.