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The Maverick being the first new truck I have purchased since 2004, the question occurred to me, this being 2023, does Ford install trackers in it's vehicles?
Will Smith gonna smack you!Thanks Guys! Just wanted to know in case the "men in black" start looking for me! LOL!
Did you see that Ford just recently put in a patent application for the tech to be able to remotely repossess vehicles? Both via "annoying" the customer who fell behind on payments (have the radio scream at full volume a siren noise whenever powered on, disable all heat and cooling features, etc....), as well as having the vehicle literally self-drive itself to a slightly different location so a tow truck can get to it more easily for a tow.I've done quite a lot of work on this in my security research role and have issued the following guidance for our fleet of corporate owned Ford vehicles.
My testing showed that disabling the "convenience" features in the car menu DID NOT stop the cellular radio from being active. I believe that Ford still tracks the vehicle but does not make the data visible to the end user or the dealerships.
- Ford engages in invasive tracking of customer vehicles via the on-board telematics and via the "FordPass" mobile applications.
- Do not install any Ford sourced mobile applications on company owned devices. We strongly discourage the use of Ford mobile applications on personal devices.
On a Maverick, you can pull fuse 11 from the fuse panel under the glovebox. This powers off the 'telematics control module' and stops the tracking. Additionally, if you have the dash apart you can unplug the TCM completely, It is a free standing module with no co-dependencies. Somewhere in Ford land, there is a group of engineers that understand the pure evil of this these tracking / monetization policies and intentionally made it easy to disable the TCM. Kudos to them for doing the right thing.
Undoing that will cause. you to not be able to start your car with your phone, see your tire pressures and a handful of other useless 'features' that Ford offers as compensation for monetizing your life. You dealer won't receive your mileage to bug you about the oil changes that you've already done.
A few other notes.
Sorry for the long post, but I hate to see everyone just give in to invasive tracking. It's going to end badly, and is preventable.
- If you're interested in what some of the dealer sees from the TCU, you can go to motorcraftservice.com and purchase a 72 hour subscription to the tech info (super useful if you need wiring diagrams, etc). From there you can view non-sensitive telematic data. No location or anything. FoMoCo keeps the juicy stuff for themselves and the 'marketing partners.'
- Many of you will come back with the argument of "I have nothing to hide,' or 'you're carrying a phone that tracks you anyway.' Both of these responses make you sound foolish. Here's where we're headed, largely based on every auto maker's own forward looking statements to investors:
- First, how about behavior tracking / curation based on location. Are you ready to have a pop up on your car screen that says "Hello Mr. Smith. We've noticed that you visit the liquor store regularly and have notified your health insurer.?" How about "Mr Smith, you seem to be at the adult theater, we've notified your wife's council?"
- Then, driving habits. Ford's current software has a soon to be enabled feature that can send your driving behavior straight to your insurance company. Brake late...miss a stop sign, go to fast when passing? That now costs money.
- As for your mobile computer that happens to occasionally make / receive calls, you are probably correct. It's probably doing quite a lot of tracking. All of this tracking, apart from cell tower triangulation, is completely avoidable by the owner of the device. Or put another way, entered into voluntarily and consented to by you. It doesn't have to be this way.
Welcome to the 21st Century World of Technology. I am sure most people on the forum with Mavericks would rather have the following:Prepare the tin foil hats, gentlemen.
At least your old truck was from this century, mine was from 1998 that had no tracking whatsoever...The Maverick being the first new truck I have purchased since 2004, the question occurred to me, this being 2023, does Ford install trackers in it's vehicles?
Taking apart the dashboard for a less than two month old Maverick would be overkill, but are you certain that the fuse #11 does the trick? I believe the module is actually behind the back seat like this one:On a Maverick, you can pull fuse 11 from the fuse panel under the glovebox. This powers off the 'telematics control module' and stops the tracking. Additionally, if you have the dash apart you can unplug the TCM completely, It is a free standing module with no co-dependencies. Somewhere in Ford land, there is a group of engineers that understand the pure evil of this these tracking / monetization policies and intentionally made it easy to disable the TCM. Kudos to them for doing the right thing.