A South Carolina-based surveillance firm that has sold services to the U.S. military is promoting its ability to provide real-time location information about 15 billion cars every month.
The claims come from a document obtained by the office of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) in which the company has detailed its capabilities. Wyden is investigating companies that sell the data of consumers.
The company says it can track cars through sensors in vehicle parts – either installed by the car company, or by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) – the company that provided the components.
The sensors collect information such as airbag and seatbelt status, engine temperature, and location, and then transmit that information either back to the car maker or to third parties.
Aggregator companies also purchase or obtain this data, repackage it, and then sell that data or products based on it to their own clients, Vice News reported on Wednesday.
Clients could include insurance companies, anti-terrorism agencies and the military