Cooley On Cars
How to make your data disappear from your carNever mind Facebook, your car's ratting you out, too.
I bet you spent plenty of time lately learning how to wipe your trail off of Facebook. Give that another couple of years and you should have all the tricks mastered. But what about the other places your traced and tracked including your car. That's the one a lot of folks don't think about. Let's learn how to disappear from your car if you. Should desire to do so. [MUSIC] First of all, the basics in this mostly center around your phone. One of the first ones is you think about whether you really want to enable contacts transfer. When you pair your phone, almost every car says do you want to transfer your address book in here? If you're watching this video you at least have a reason not to, so that's easy to say no to, but know you're going to give up some convenience when it comes to doing things like easy dialing from the screen or via voice as you drive Calling Steve Thomas Mobile. The other one is, when you loan your car, of course when you sell your car, even if you take it in for service, if you're that concerned about this, delete your phone from the bluetooth pairing menu. And you can always repair it later, it's not hard in modern vehicles. Past destinations are something that are often sitting in your navigation system. Again, if you care about this stuff, you can go in there and wipe those, and there might even be an option in your car not to store many of them. But I think in most cases, you're gonna have to manually blow those out from time to time. not every car has that option, by the way. The other one is a more aggressive wipe or reset. Some vehicles have a "wipe all my personal data" setting. That's a relatively recent innovation and again not on every car and many of them have a full reset on the head unit. Now this is pretty dramatic. It's going to take out everything that you've ever customized including lighting profiles, maybe your seat set up, your radio presets, as well as any of your history and data that's ever been in there, but that's available to you. [MUSIC]. Okay now we've left the easy part, your phone. Now we move into some murkier area: the black box. No, not black, they never are, are they? This is a computer that's been in vehicles let's say since the late nineties very commonly. Originally, to operate the ABS, anti-lock breaking system. But it captures a snapshot, a rolling snapshot, of various inputs in the vehicle, how you are driving, steering, using the breaks Using the accelerator, what gear position were you in, and a whole lot of other stuff. More and more depending how late model your car is. Now this is not a user **** with-able thing. You're not supposed to get to this this and play with it, but some companies will let you do that. Now the thing about Black Box is that they're not standard across cars, so that's where it gets a little bit murky in terms of any tips I can give you and how advisable those are. These are hard to clear because they are meant to be robust parts of the vehicle's safety system. as well as discoverable evidence, although that was not their original purpose. Then you've got this idea that OEM's must disclose, per federal law, whether your car has one of these. Assume it does, unless your car is pretty old. The other thing to think about here is there are state regulations In some but not even most of the US states. You can look this up, and you can find out what your state requires or allows in terms of sharing of this data. Some interesting notes include Virginia which says you cannot be denied car insurance just because you will not give permission for your black box to be red, or in Montana saying insurance cannot deny you a policy payment. Just because you won't allow your black box to be read and scanned. If you really feel like you need to see what's in here and maybe do something about it, consult one of these firms that do accident reconstructions and investigations. They have the tools and the special software to interface to these guys. I just don't like the idea of destroying evidence, but that's your call. [MUSIC] Okay, finally if you have ever been diagnosed as having a Unibomber personality, I bet you're intrigued by the idea that your car is being tracked with some kind of an added spy device. Now we're getting out there on this one, but since you asked or I assume you did, let's talk about this. If you're looking for a GPS tracking bug, as you might refer to them, basically you look up and under. That's where these things are put by most amateurs, PIs, things of that nature. If you're talking about dealing with the NSA, they're gonna put them in all kinds of interesting areas. But I have now officially washed my hands of view. So look up and under: bumper covers, under bumpers in that area, in the ceiling of the glove box, even in door panels. It requires a little more work, but this is where this sort of thing is often hidden. They're often magnetic as well. It can stick undeneath of cars without having to get into the vehicle. Now the other idea here is to know that GPS transponders work best where they can actually get a GPS signal. That means burying these things in the engine next to a lot of high frequency RF energy and surrounded by metal is probably not a good place to look for one of these. They probably wouldn't work really well there. You can sweep for bugs. There are bug sweeping devices. I am a little skeptical of any one that you could actually afford, but they're out there if you wanna try your hand and risk your money. And finally, don't forget that OBD The D2 port we just talked about. Some of the simplest places to put GPS tracking devices are in the OBD2 port right there in plain sight. In fact a lot of very legitimate trackers that are used to give you better insurance rates or locate your family car go exactly there. Not all tracking is honest.