| Would you want to rent a car with a
video camera pointed at you and your family that a third party can watch? Would
you be comfortable driving a car knowing someone can watch your every move and
listen to what you are saying? How would you feel if you only found out about
it after the fact? Those are among some of the questions asked by Neil Cavuto
today on Fox News.
Cavuto posed the
questions to (retired) Judge Andrew Napolitano Monday, March 16th on his Fox
News show, and Judge Napolitano called for a boycott of Hertz Car Rental.
Cavuto reported that Hertz navigation device have a built-in camera that can be
used to spy on renters, but they do not know where the microphone is located.
Judge Napolitano suggested that tape can be placed over the camera to protect
privacy, and Boycott Watch points out that does not eliminate the hidden
Hertz made the following statement:
"The cameras in Neverlost 6 units aren't functional and cannot be turned on
under any circumstances, by either renters or by the company. When we chose the
new hardware device for Neverlost 6, we included a camera option in the event
that a video conferencing function might be useful, future application that
renters would welcome."
Consumers have heard that
Hertz claim before, only to find out cameras in computers can be activated
surreptitiously by third parties, including government agencies and hackers.
This is by far not the first hidden camera found in electronic devices. The
original Kindle Fire has a hidden camera and there is no documentation for it.
The fact is there is no way for consumers to know
if Hertz is telling the truth, or for that matter if a third party can activate
the camera. In the newscast, Judge Napolitano summed it up with "We are free to
go to elsewhere. We are free to invest in a car rental company that promises
not to do this." Regarding teleconferencing in the Hertz statement, Judge
Napolitano further stated "That is ridiculous.... It would probably be unlawful
to take your eyes off the road so that you look at the camera for the purpose
of a videoconference. Why would they pay for a piece of equipment that doesn't
Boycott Watch believes Judge Napolitano made
excellent points. While we do not advocate boycotts, we encourage consumers to
make informed decision before buying or renting any products and services.