eCall could be watching you

Published May 02, 2015


UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour says she is ‘disappointed and frustrated’ at the European Parliament’s decision to force car makers to use an EU-wide car tracking system dubbed eCall. The decision means new cars and light vans will all have the system fitted as standard from March 2018.

The eCall device is designed to alert rescue services in the event of an accident – but Mrs Seymour says it is yet another example of Big Brother-style surveillance of people’s movements. The European Commission says installation of the device, which means the movement of cars can be tracked wherever they go, is likely to add up to £100 to the cost of a new car.

Mrs Seymour said:

“This eCall system will heap the expense of car construction and the upgrading of mobile networks onto the consumer. I’m frustrated, disappointed, but not entirely surprised by this EU decision. People haven’t asked for this, and I believe the whole venture should be voluntary rather than mandatory. Even though MEPs agreed that it was illegal to track drivers or misuse location data, it is quite obvious that this technology will be quickly abused by people and organisations which have no qualms about using someone’s private data.”

“Mobile operators will have to upgrade systems and manufacturers will need to change production patterns to accommodate the service.”

She added:

“The eCall system introduced by the EU will bring unnecessary expense and leaves people open to having their personal movements tracked.

“The EU’s eCall system is an extra expense which will leave people open to an unwarranted invasion of privacy to which they have not consented. The mandatory nature of this measure shows the EU does not care if individual people or countries assent to this system. The EU is a dysfunctional system of law-making.”