SHANGHAI – When Shan Junhua bought his white Tesla Model X, he knew it was a fast, beautiful car. What he didn't know is that Tesla constantly sends information about the precise location of his car to the Chinese government. China has called upon all electric vehicle manufacturers in China to make the same kind of reports -- potentially adding to the rich kit of surveillance tools available to the Chinese government as President Xi Jinping steps up the use of technology to track Chinese citizens. "I didn't know this," said Shan. "Tesla could have it, but why do they transmit it to the government? Because this is about privacy."
The Associated Press reports today that more than 200 EV manufacturers including Tesla, Volkswagen, BMW and others transmit real time vehicle data like position, engine information and battery charge level to centers backed by the Chinese government. Dozens of data points are transferred between the manufacturers and these data centers, a practice required by law in the country. The AP says specifications published in 2016 mandate that EVs operating in the country must transmit data back to their manufacturer, some of which is then shared with local centers in China. One such center, the Shanghai Electric Vehicle Public Data Collecting, Monitoring and Research Center, can pull up information on any EV driving on Shanghai roads -- more than 222,000 vehicles. And screens show where each vehicle is in real time.
Cars in China are watching their drivers and reporting where they are to the government. Authorities claim that the data is only used to ensure that the roads, cars and drivers are safe. But privacy experts fear the data could be used for more invasive forms of surveillance. Hundreds of car manufacturers of electric vehicles – including Tesla, as well as more traditional companies like Volkswagen, BMW and Ford – transmit dozens of different kinds of information to the government. The information is sent without the driver or owner of the car even knowing it.
China is monitoring the brain activity of employees in its factories, state-owned enterprises and military on an'industrial scale'. The technology works by placing wireless sensors in workers' hats or caps that when combined with artificial intelligence can spot workplace rage, anxiety or depression. Employers use this'emotional surveillance technology' to boost productivity and profits by tweaking workflows, including employee placement and break lengths. China is monitoring the brain activity of employees in its state-run firms. The technology works by placing wireless sensors in workers' hats that when combined with AI can spot workplace anxiety or depression.
BEIJING--China is establishing an electronic identification system to track cars nationwide, according to records and people briefed on the matter, adding to a growing array of surveillance tools the government uses to monitor its citizens. Under the plan being rolled out July 1, a radio-frequency identification chip for vehicle tracking will be installed on cars when they are registered. Compliance will be voluntary this year but will be made mandatory for new vehicles at the start of 2019, the people said. Authorities have described the plan as a means to improve public security and to help ease worsening traffic congestion, documents show, a major concern in many Chinese cities partly because clogged roads contribute to air pollution. But such a system, implemented in the world's biggest automotive market, with sales of nearly 30 million vehicles a year, will also vastly expand China's surveillance network, experts say.