Bob Sullivan, blogger at MSNBC, has done an article on “pay by cell” on his blog, The Red Tape Chronicles. Sullivan interviews IPI Prez Casey Jones and representatives from Parkmobile and Verrus, whose produce is now called “Pay by Phone.” He also spoke at length to privacy expert Larry Ponemon.
Ponemon’s money quote:
“When I think about this technology, it does have a creepiness factor,” he said. “Your car is an extension of you. Where you park may be information that would be very useful to someone who wanted to use it for negative purposes.”
The media can’t wait to spin what could be a great piece of convenient technology to something sinister. Now they infer that we are tracking people who pay by cell. Of course they quote the vendors as saying it “doesn’t happen,” but the seed is planted.
Sullivan goes on:
When compared to an EZ Pass on the toll road, pay by phone could track you and by using the phone you admit you were there and when you parked. Parking tickets could go the way of credit card late fees, with enormous charges being assessed automatically when drivers overstay their time by just a second or two.
(See our series of blogs below concerning unlimited on street parking, is PT Blog ahead of the curve, or what.) Ponemon goes on:
“We all fretted that the (EZ Pass) system would be used to give out speeding tickets, for example, with state troopers calculating your average speed between toll booths, but that didn’t happen,” he said. “I think people realized that no one would use the system if governments behaved that way. … It sounds like a scary thing, and one more strike against privacy, but I think, like EZPass, the fear factor will pass.”
Heh — Some cities are already mailing citations to folks caught overstaying their parking time. Can this be far behind.
Casey has an interesting quote:
Coming soon, he predicted: Drivers will be able to reserve street parking ahead of time. Who wouldn’t pay more for a promised spot downtown?
Wow! Maybe Casey can give us more information on this new technology. I’d love to hear how it is going to work.