Opinion: The drive to collect data could lead automakers down a dangerous path – The Globe and Mail
Peter D. Norton
Peter Norton is associate professor of history in the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia, and the author of Autonorama: The Illusory Promise of High-Tech Driving.
Big-time investors like to say that “data is the new oil.” Google, Facebook and other companies have drilled the digital oil fields of personal data, achieving rates of growth 20th-century oil barons would have envied.
But to collect personal data, such companies have to present themselves as something else. Google is a data-collection company that offers internet search and other services; Facebook is a data-collection company that offers a social-media platform. To these companies, the services they provide are means to an end – and if the means and the end diverge, the end must prevail.