EZPass is a joy to use when driving along the interstate.  No more waiting in line to pay tolls, or fiddling to get exact change.

And like all good things, it’s being exploited for unintended uses.

1) Lawyers are using EZPass records in divorce cases

2) The manufacturer has applied for a patent to put cameras INSIDE the ezpass tag to photograph the car occupants.  Sure, it’s to prevent HOV lane violations…but what’s to stop them from photographing you randomly…or every time you start your car, hit the brakes, or change gears?


From TheBlaze.com:

  • Kapsch Traffic Com AG, a transponder (i.e., E-Z Pass and IPass) manufacturer, filed a patent for technology to include an inward and outward pointing camera.
  • Technology is not necessarily going to be created.
  • If it were, it would be used to monitor HOV lanes.
  • Kapsch signed a 10 year contract to provide transponders for 22 toll systems in the United States.
  • Kapsch transponders can be found in 41 countries and 64 million cars worldwide.

First, it was OnStar tracking users even after subscription to the service was canceled — which they since pulled back on. Now, there’s a patent filed for an in-car device that would be used for monitoring purposes.

MSNBC reports that Kapsch TrafficCom AG, an Austrian company that creates transponders like E-Z Pass, which allows cars to breeze through tolls, filed a patent for technology that would include cameras in such devices. Cameras would point inside the car as well as out:

The stated reason for an inward-pointing camera is to verify the number of occupants in the car for enforcement of HOV and HOT lanes. The outward-pointing camera could be used for the same purpose, helping authorities enforce minimum occupant rules against drivers who aren’t carrying transponders.

But it’s easy to imagine other uses. The patent says the transponders would have the ability to store and transmit pictures, either at random intervals or on command from a central office. It would be tempting to use them as part of a search for a lost child, for example, and law enforcement officials might find the data treasure trove irresistible. The gadget could also be instructed to take pictures when the acceleration of a car “exceeds a threshold,” or when accidents occur, so it could be used like an airplane cockpit flight recorder.

via Kapsch TrafficCom AG Files Patent for Camera Technology in EZ Pass, iPass | TheBlaze.com.