Have you ever heard of a thing called eCall?
I hadn’t until yesterday.
Apparently this is another “initiative” by our lords and masters in Brussels. “The Commission had called for eCall to be rolled out voluntarily across Europe by 2009 (IP/09/1245) but adoption has been very slow” which isn’t very surprising as few people have heard of it. Now of course they are making it compulsory.
So what is this eCall when it’s at home, I hear you ask?
It’s a device which will [by EU law] be installed in every new car from 2015. The idea is that if you have an accident, it automatically phones your location to the nearest emergency centre.
On the face of it, it’s not a bad idea.
It does have a couple of minor problems though. What if your accident happens where there is no mobile phone coverage? And how are the emergency services going to react when they are called out to all the thousands of minor shunts that happen each day? I can see fun times ahead.
But that isn’t what concerns me.
Those of us who are familiar with the Tobacco Control Industry know the way these things work. They introduce something simple which on the face of it is a good idea. Then they modify it a bit to “save a few more lives”. Then they add in a bit more, inch by inch until one morning you wake up and realise you have been had, and that Big Brother is breathing down your neck whether you like it or not.
When you think about it, it is a lot of expense and effort to impose this on 500 million people so that it will [in their own words] “save several hundred lives in Europe every year.” Several hundred out of 500,000,000?
So where could this lead?
Well, for example they could easily say that they can save thousands more lives by monitoring speed. The technology is now in place so this is simple. It sounds reasonable and even sensible until you start getting the weekly bills for speeding. It would be like constantly driving into a speed radar. No escape.
They say it could be used to automatically be used to pay road tolls. But then who needs toll-gates? Why not just charge you for the use of the road? Any road? Every mile or kilometre you drive is another donation for Europe’s fat coffers.
I’m sure their ingenious little minds will come up with all sorts of devious ways to screw money out of us one they have their lovely little toy that knows where our cars are at all times.
Take it from a cynic – all this will come to pass.