With Americans already worked up over the idea that the federal government’s National Security Agency is spying on their e-mails and phone calls, it’s likely little surprise that Ford Motor Co. Global Marketing Director Jim Farley touched off another furor this week when he told an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show that the automaker is tracking their travels thanks to their in-car navigation systems.
“We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it,” Farley said at the huge Las Vegas convention where he served as one of the headliners. The good side, he added, is that “We don’t supply that data to anyone.”
Small comfort. Make that no comfort. With the NSA spy scandal still a matter of headlines, Ford’s apparent use of Big Brother-style technology didn’t sit very well, generating its own flurry of stories – which the Detroit maker is now trying to back away from. In a follow-up interview on CNBC, Farley apologized and backtracked away from his comments at CES. (more…)