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Can the new EU-wide "eCall" surveillance system be disabled?

11.07.18

Starting with April 2018, all cars sold within the European Union are now obliged to include an embedded electronic system, with a GPS location device and a microphone, that automatically transmits data to emergency services in case the sensors inside the car detect an accident with the latter, called the "eCall"[1] system.

And, as with other electronic equipments with the same capabilities, of using microphones and GPS locators (think cell/smartphones), naturally a huge privacy concern arises about possible "backdoors" in such a system, that might allow for it to be remotely activated by authorities without a person's knowledge[2].

The "European Standard" of the operating requirements of this technology (document "EN 16072:2015")[3] allows, for the time being[4], for it to be "disabled" at the request of the car owner[5]:


7.8 Modes of operation for automatic triggered eCall

The automatically triggered eCall may be set into one of two modes:
a) automatically enabled on vehicle ignition-on;
b) permanently disabled at the request of the vehicle owner by maintenance personnel and processes approved by the equipment supplier.


But, which specific "processes approved by the equipment supplier" are those?

(If they consist on simply using a hidden “power off” button or removing a SIM card, it's known that that doesn't effectively work to guarantee a person's privacy[2]...)

Is there any approved process, guaranteed to be effective, by which one can really disable such a system?

Has anyone ever done this, and can demonstrate and explain to others how can we do it?


Written by a mere blogger, called Fernando Negro

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1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECall
2. https://blackfernando.blogs.sapo.pt/razao-pela-qual-smartphones-modernos-141654
3. A "preview" (with the first pages) of it, starting at page 5 of the following PDF, is available here - https://www.sis.se/api/document/preview/8013819/ - and the document in question can be downloaded in its entirety, after a payment, here: https://www.en-standard .eu/csn-en-16072-intelligent-transport-systems-esafety-pan-european-ecall-operating-requirements-1/
4. Status of such European norm described as "Active" here: https://standards.globalspec .com/std/9927227/cen-en-16072
5. Following quote taken from a "United Nations Economic Commission for Europe" document: https://wiki.unece.org/download/attachments/27459667/AECS-10-08%20%28 NL%29%20Discussion%20paper%20-%20switching%20off%20eCall.pdf

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colocado por Fernando Negro às 05:23


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