Exec Backpedals After Saying Ford Tracks Drivers

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Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesJim Farley, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Ford, speaks Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
By Phil LeBeau

A Ford Motor executive who said the company tracks and collects data on how Ford customers drive their vehicles said Thursday that he regrets making the comments.

Jim Farley, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Ford (F), said that he was wrong to suggest to customers that the automaker uses GPS devices in vehicles to collect data on how people drive.

"I definitely left the wrong impression with my comments,
and I regret it," Farley told CNBC. "It's important to me that our customers know where we stand and that we do not track them."

Wednesday night, while taking part in a panel at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Farley was quoted as saying: "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone."

Business Insider first reported Farley's comments Thursday morning. The article and Farley's remarks immediately raised concerns that Ford is monitoring drivers without their consent.

Farley told CNBC that his comments were meant to be in response to a hypothetical question about whether or not automakers could track how vehicles are driven. He said the automaker does not have GPS tracking data in the vehicles it sells.

"We do not monitor and aggregate data from our cars," Farley said.


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157 Comments

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ejjljjr

Well, I scratch, Owning a Ford, off my bucket list. He can't take back what he said. Trying to explain it off as a response to a "hypothetical question." No way, no how I believe him now. I bet every care company does it.

January 11 2014 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ED & IRENE

well is anyone checking to see if he was telling the REAL truth ?? Isnt that against the law without asking the person ? Whos investigating this ?

January 11 2014 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
divrgeorge

We know what you're doing whenever you do it? Sounds like Bad Santa.

January 11 2014 at 11:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cskm289

Ford, GM, et al have access to the data. Like the NSA, they don't yet know how to use it. Chris, I mean Jim Farley's original comment was a more truthful slip of the tongue.

January 11 2014 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
think!!!

i bought a new GM vehicle. the next week i removed the onstar. when i went in for service they were annoyed i would do something like that. i'm not totally paranoid, they can listen whenever they want....and know where you are. so don't just disconnect it, remove it. if you think you might need them to call an ambulance for you wake up. they want data and you pay for it.

January 11 2014 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to think!!!'s comment
dvdbrrtt62

Sorry to inform you but OnStar CANNOT be removed from your vehicle. It is an integral part of the computer system of your GM car.

January 11 2014 at 10:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
talari

It is true. They are watching you! The government can shut you down anytime they desire and you can't stop them. Of course the sheep of America believe "If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about." Wake up people!

January 11 2014 at 9:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to talari's comment
steves1709

Wake up and take your meds, people!!

January 11 2014 at 9:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
edwardsnj

To all of you techno idiots out there, Hear THIS, GPS devices are installed in more cars each year. Every Cell phone has a GPS tracking device. These devices can be remotely activated by the device manufacrurer, police or the good ole US Home land Security at any time. Naturally auto manufacturers want to collect data to sharpen their market views and needs and also to turn off your vehicle if you do not make monthly payments. Dah... YOU ARE BEING WATCHED!! no joke...

BIG BROTHER IS HERE. !!!!

yes you can be viewed from space provided you carry a modern cell phone. Civil Rights ha ha.

January 11 2014 at 8:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
raidrmik67

GM installs Onstar in all their vehicles and it used to be free for a year, even if you don't renew your subscription they still have the ability to track your vehicle.

If FORD doesn't have GPS devices tracking their cars why did this guy say they did in the first place? Which is a lie and which is the truth?

January 11 2014 at 8:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to raidrmik67's comment
talari

It's not On Star subscription. It's about spying! Wake up!

January 11 2014 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
topcat2216

In Russia everyone has cameras in their cars, as I think their insurance requires it. People there are accepting that "Big Brother is watching" . I think American companies badly want so badly to get us to that point. That's their real agenda. But they know it's a hard sell, so they're introducing products and things to lead us there more gradually. Progressive is doing this with those voluntary tracking things they're trying to get people to install in order to receive a "good driving" discount.

January 11 2014 at 8:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ROBERT C MOLDEN

Now, which lie are we to believe? And they wonder why some show a defience to bye American vehicles? Oh, we know when you break the law but we won't tell? Are you kidding me? Then what is your purpose Mr Exect?

January 11 2014 at 7:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ROBERT C MOLDEN's comment
steves1709

DUH! Their purpose is to sell cars and make money from it!

January 11 2014 at 9:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ROBERT C MOLDEN

Furthermore, it is not against your rights for them to do this against you for they are only collecting infomation until it can be demanded or supenaed of them from the courts and they have to comply however, at this point it becomes court evidence aganist you in a court of Law. That is when they went aganist your constitutional rights and your other rights are next.

January 11 2014 at 9:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply