A story broke earlier this month that found the car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz caught in the middle of a privacy argument regarding trackers in their cars.
It’s been reported that every car sold by a Mercedes dealership is fitted with a tracking device that can be activated with the push of a button. With Mercedes selling a little over 170,000 new cars last year in the UK alone, that could be a lot of tracking devices.
The trackers can be used to pinpoint a cars location anywhere on the planet, but Mercedes have stated that the trackers aren’t permanently monitored. They say that they do not access real-time data from the trackers, so customers aren’t permanently tracked. They didn’t state how long they’ve been putting the devices in place for, so it’s hard to tell how long this has been going on for.
Although they say customers aren’t permanently tracked, the car manufacturer has admitted to sharing information regarding vehicle locations and owners to third party bailiffs and recovery firms. Mercedes have said that this only occurs in extreme circumstances when customers default on car repayments and vehicles need to be located and repossessed.
When purchasing a car on finance, the lengthy terms and conditions does mention the use of location sensors. Upon signing these terms and conditions you do agree to the potential use of these sensors/tracking devices. This privacy debate that Mercedes has found themselves wrapped up in, highlights the importance of fully reading and understanding what you’re signing for.
In a statement Mercedes have said ‘This repossession process is used in a few exceptional cases and only as a last resort, when customers default or breach their finance agreement and repeatedly fail requests to return their vehicle.’