Type to search

Connected cars: The scary new way people can track your truck


The technology in connected cars these days is astounding. You can start and enter your truck without a key, wirelessly connect to your entertainment options on your phone, use your truck as a WiFi hotspot, and in some cases, even drive handsfree. But do these advances in technology leave you open to privacy issues? Today publisher Tim Esterdahl is highlighting the scary new way people can track your truck.

Trigger warning: if you have ever bought a used vehicle that connects to an app on your phone, this video may freak you out a bit. It could also be scary for anyone going through a divorce, a situation involving a stalker, or any other instance where you being tracked is a concern. We don’t want to scare anyone, but we do want to make people aware of potential issues with connected cars and how to combat them.

Can a previous owner track your vehicle?

It is possible. Esterdahl learned this quite by accident when he added a new vehicle to the Ford Pass app on his phone and noticed the 2021 Ford Powerboost that he sold five months ago was still listed in his app. Curious, he clicked on the truck’s profile and he was able to see where it was parked. Right down to the street address. He probably could have locked/unlocked the doors or remote started it. Of course, he didn’t. He’s a good guy. But it did prompt him to make the video below to warn others about the dangers of today’s connected cars.

Is this the scary new way people can track your truck? If you haven’t taken the steps below, yes. Anyone who has previously connected a phone’s app to your truck could potentially track your vehicle’s location without your knowledge.

Protect your privacy. Do this key step before you sell your truck!

It seems most connected cars with a phone app also have a Master Reset feature in their infotainment system’s control panel. Selecting this will remove all users from the vehicle so that if they attempt to view the vehicle profile on their app, they will be unable to without someone physically in the vehicle accepting the connection via a prompt on the infotainment screen.

Any time you purchase a vehicle with technology like this you should do a master reset before you set up your own app, input your home location on your navigation system, or import your phone’s contacts. And if you sell a vehicle, do the same. Wipe all of that clean so that none of your information is passed on to the next driver!

Related posts:

Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *