This is regarding the launch of a “next-generation electronic road-pricing (ERP) system”. Implementation of this system is touted by the government as a means to: Alert you of toll roads and charges before you reach them, provide real-time traffic information, coupon-less streetside parking, automatic payment for off-peak drivers, and it’ll be able to bill you for your distance travelled.
HOWEVER, it is clear that this is without a doubt a serious and blatant breach of privacy at worst and a shady means to passively tax vehicle owners at best.
1) They know all your whereabouts at a few clicks of a button. There is no clear explanation or documentation on how such private data will be used. With enough data points, anyone can be easily profiled by their routes and behavioral patterns (i.e. Where you go on weekends, what routes you take, where do you shop, where do you have your meals). What will they use such data for? Sell it to corporate organisations as “market research material”? One can only imagine.
2) Road tax is already paid for, for road users to legally use the road. This tax is meant to go towards maintaining the roads, which is fine. So with this “next gen system”, surely that makes road taxes and the like untenable?
3) One must realise that this technology is akin to GPS tracking ankle braclets the police use on criminals on probation, and if this plan goes unopposed, it is fundamentally complicit agreement that they could roll out their future “GPS tracking bracelets for public transport payment in order to phase out the EZ link card technology”. Already, our EZ link cards track our movement everytime we take the public transport. Do you want it to track when we go to the loo as well, or when we go to the shops?
4) What if the unthinkable happens and systems get hacked and hijacked by terror groups? Recent cases have shown that no technology is safe and it is only a matter of time and effort before someone gets access to the millions of data points generated by the tens of thousands of vehicle owners. Will anyone feel safe anymore?