The other day I grabbed an Uber to meet my wife at an Italian restaurant. On the way there I had the car stop at a flower stand and picked up a rose for her. On the Uber back home we were wishfully chatting about how much fun it would be if we were actually eating Italian food at a restaurant in Italy.
When I got on the internet the next day I got ads for flower delivery and tour packages to Italy for my wife’s upcoming birthday.
The above is fantasy (especially the part about the rose!) but not by much. Uber has already said it may track you even when you are not using its service. Is it really that much of a stretch to think that it will listen to your conversations whenever you are riding in one of its vehicles as well? It would be like Alexa, but listening all the time. Wait a minute, isn’t Alexa already listening all the time . . . ?
Once self driving cars become the norm, and they are all wired into Big Highway Brother, you really won’t be able to go anywhere at all without being tracked. The assumption will be that anyone manually driving a car is trying to avoid tracking and up to no good. Not only that, since self driving cars can be safely compacted much closer together on the road, manual drivers will be considered selfish for taking up more space on the roads. So the rap on manual drivers will be that they are selfish and shifty (pun intended). Or rich.
The rich, of course, will find a way around this, as they usually do. So they’ll still have some privacy. But the companies they own and run will know everything about you. Doesn’t the future sound fab?