Mercedes Spies On Drivers By Installing “Big Brother” Tracking Devices In Cars
If you plan buying a new vehicle, especially a Mercedes-Benz car, through finance, then you have to think twice…
Mercedes in UK is caught in a row over privacy after admitting all new and used cars sold by its dealers are fitted with secret “Big Brother” tracking devices which can pinpoint their location.
Mercedes-Benz, who will not say how long it has used the trackers, said the sensors are not used to permanently track customers or access real-time data.
It insisted the sensors are only activated in ‘extreme circumstances’, such as when car finance customers defaults on their payments so they can be tracked down.
Mercedes spokesperson said:
“When a customer chooses to finance the purchase of their car this way, they sign a contract and agree to the location sensors in the car being activated in the event that they default or breach their agreement.”
“This clause in the finance contract is in bold print, just above the customer’s signature.”
“Locating the car is part of the repossession process and is not permanently tracking customers.”
“It is only activated in exceptional circumstances where the customer has breached their finance agreement and repeatedly failed to reply to requests to contact us.”
Mercedes also admitted sharing car owner information and vehicle location details with third-party bailiffs and recovery firms to hunt down and repossess the cars.
An Ex-Cabinet minister, who asked the Government to investigate the issue, said:
“This is not the first time big business has behaved like Big Brother — but it’s rare to be quite as deceitful as this.
“I have to question whether it is even legal to pass on information to other people such as bailiffs.
“I would think the relevant minister ought to look very closely at the legality of this procedure.”
Mercedes-Benz’s rivals, including BMW, Volkswagen and Jaguar Land Rover, have all said they do not carry out similar tracking.
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