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Thursday 21 March 2019

Smile! You’re on Volvo’s privacy-invading cameras

First, they came for my speed, and I didn’t care. Then, they came to install cameras so they could watch me drive, and I revolted.

Volvo has long been the company that has kept us safe. Years ago, we used to joke that everybody could buy a car, but people who loved their families bought a Volvo. Their reputation for safety and durability put those four-wheeled log cabins on the roads and kept them there. Always ahead of the field in safety innovation, they may not have set the design world on fire but there was no arguing they pushed the entire industry to get serious about safety long before it was remotely sexy, or even a primary goal.

Volvo recently introduced a feature called Care Key on all models, beginning in 2021. It allows owners to make an adjustment so the vehicle will not exceed 180 km/h. I shrugged at this, mostly because it is optional and 180 is more than prudent for North American roads, where none of us can see an autobahn from our driveways. Now, however, they are wading into territory that requires pushback — or at least, discussion.


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