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John Ellis, an auto futurist and formerly global technologist for Ford Motor Co., thinks we may have overlooked a third option.
In his book, “The Zero Dollar Car,” he argues that consumers should start thinking about their privacy as a product. Instead of concealing our private data, he argues, we should be able to sell it to companies, using the profits to lower the price of goods and services that feed off the information we produce.
Ellis thinks the best way to start is with the modern car, a machine that has been transformed from a means of transportation into a sophisticated computer on wheels that offers even more access to our personal habits and behaviors than smartphones do.
Today’s vehicles, experts say, can determine where you shop, the weather on your street, how often you wear your seat belt, what you were doing moments before a crash — even where you like to eat and how much you weigh.
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