Minnesota developing GPS-based vehicle tracking system intended to introduce a vehicle tax
November 30, 2012
After a long wait, on Nov 28 2012, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) released ~2.97 gigabytes of data from inside the development of a GPS-based vehicle tracking system intended to introduce a vehicle tax – which would entail a great deal of data constantly collected by the government on the whereabouts and everyday patterns of the taxed vehicles. The source URL posted yesterday is ftp://ftp2.dot.state.mn.us/pub/outbound/chiefcounsel/Nate%20Hansen%20Email/ .
My friend Nathan Hansen made the request, pursuing a long-running story of the buildout of these taxation-tracking highway techs. (Disclosure: I did some design work for Hansen previously) The 2008 story I did: Now Searchable: The MnDOT NASCO NAFTA Superhighway Document Stash && Index of /June 2008 MN DOT Request/NASCO – Hansen Request && Index of /June 2008 MN DOT Request/June 2008 Request && Index of /DOT. A lot of these plans fell by the wayside – and a special Minnesota Intellidrive project and MBUF is the new plan. Related: Melissa Hill’s new blog allows you to “Track the Police” using public data && Private company hoarding license-plate data on US drivers. In May 2011 I did this story: Contracts for IntelliDrive MnDOT Military-Industrial/U of M plan to GPS-track all cars. This data dump continues the story.
There are a few important angles: comprehensive vehicle tracking data would be great for law enforcement, lawyers and big corporations to investigate everything in one’s life, including ‘retroactive surveillance’ of previous activities. However, the “fees” that would be imposed on rural Minnesotans who have to drive around a lot would be quite burdensome.