As more and more cities and towns privatize everything, the use of smart meter parking apps (SMPA) continues to grow.
Which is a good thing right?
According to numerous privacy policies, SMPAs collect much more information than most people realize.
Personal Information consisting of, at a minimum, your name, email address, mobile phone number, vehicle license tag number and issuing jurisdiction, Payment Method, Payment Information, Username and password. Over the course of your Use of the Platform, we may collect additional Personal Information such as: your mailing address, billing address, Transaction data; GPS data; information that you voluntarily provide like User Content; information received from your credit card provider, digital wallet, or financial institution.
SMPAs, at a minimum, are collecting tons of personal information and creasing a huge database of where and when you park.
Do SMPAs share your data with law enforcement?
Police can use smart meter parking apps to spy on motorists
SMPAs will share your personal data with law enforcement based on their good faith judgement. Again, from Parkmobile:
We will share your personal information if we, in our good faith judgment, believe it is necessary to…
SMPAs like Streetline warn that they “reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information to others as we believe appropriate.”
A 2013 article in USA Today warned that major cities across the country are creating their own spying SMPAs.
From Pittsburgh to Los Angeles — and dozens of cities in between — mobile applications are becoming available to ease drivers’ search for a place to park.
Below is a list of some cities that have created their own SMPAs.
SMPAs shouldn’t be used to spy on everyone; and they reveal much more than when a parking spot is vacant or when the meter is about to expire.
Top image credit: Mobiloitte