Despite mucho complaints and an unsuccessful strike by cab drivers, all New York City cabs were still outfitted with touch-screen GPS systems.
Some drivers protested because of tax concerns — with GPS tracking there will now be a permanent record of trips, forcing them to pay Uncle Sam in full. Others aren’t so happy about the 5% cut that credit card companies take when fares are charged. And, still others fear a privacy loss that GPS brings, perhaps making it more difficult to take the ‘scenic route’.
Now there’s another reason to complain: these touch-screen computers are far from secure. A minor IE error allowed one user to access the Start menu and even the filesystem. And this thing takes your credit cards? It’s a bit scary.
Actually, the above is not accurate. The so-called “security flaw” was one passenger finding a way into an OS prompt screen in what was one of five cabs still equipped with a prototype technology system used in a field functionality test. Even if credit card data was available to the individual — which it never was — the data is encrypted and unusable. The five prototypical systems were removed from the road within a few hours of the initial post on this about a month ago. People may rest assured that these systems are totally secure!
Allan, thanks for the clarification.
It is reassuring that you and the rest of the TLC staff are highly engaged to stamp out issues like these.