Car Hacking: My Article in Texas Lawyer
Are our vehicles’ computer systems the next frontier for hackers? Call me crazy, but I say, if not no, at least not YET. But it’s an interesting topic of discussion. See my recent article in Texas Lawyer for my take on the latest phantom menace: TLhacking_Eby.
And goodness knows I’ve been storing up lots of opinions and rants on a variety of topics over the last several weeks (and months), so get ready!
Very good article!!
All the geek engineers are in such a rush to create the “Internet of Things”, which includes the cars on the road as well as the refrigerators in our homes, that they have foregone common sense and decorum. Having witnessed in the software testing lab the extent to which our creativity has not quite caught up with our caution, I am not enthusiastic about blogging the contents of my cupboards onto Facebook. Nor am I anxious to place the controls to my HVAC into The Cloud for every Thomas, Richard and Harold with an iPhone to detemine the optimum setting for my comfort.
As a systems designer, I understand the need to make available the volumes of data available from real-life driving situations in order to improve the product in terms of efficiency and safety. Were I able to guarantee that all such data were received and processed by servers totally under my control, there would be no hesitation in my decision to install such transmitters and glean valuable information from their use. But the Internet/Cloud provides no such guarantees, and no amount of masking, encryption, diverting, or obfuscation can prevent the eventual dissemination of every datum into the public domain.
By purchasing a “modern” car, I have already allowed on-board computers to take over the mundane chore of ignition timing & fuel flow, to provide additional safety with automatic door locks and ABS and suspension air bag deployment, and to adjust the internal environment to maximize my comfort. However, there are three elements of the driving experience to which I will never accede control: steering, braking, and accelerating. These are the triumvirate characteristics of the primary driving experience. Strip out all the rest, and I’m still happy behind the wheel. Start piling on all the computerized crap, and suddenly I’m wondering why I didn’t just ride the bus. Am I in this vehicle as a passenger, or as a driver?
It will be a very sad day when/if the government mandates that all cars be connected to the Internet and hand over their controls to Big Brother Software AI.