Surveillance | IoT | Big Brother

Big Brother Tech Can Save You Or Crush You

How can a data-driven world change your life?

Engy Fouda
7 min readApr 15, 2020


Photo by Lianhao Qu on Unsplash

In August 2015, my family rented a car from Hertz. My husband drove us home in upstate NY from JFK Airport. We were exhausted, so my daughter and I slept in the back. Suddenly, we woke up to the car crashing into the cement barrier in the middle of the highway. After several minutes passed like hours, the car stopped. My husband went down to check the car’s damage. I was surprised by a sound from the radio asking me if we were okay or needed to call the ambulance immediately.

I thought my husband called the police, and the phone connected to the car’s radio with Bluetooth. Later, I recognized that I was wrong. The car was the one that called automatically, without informing us or taking our approval!

I answered that we were fine. The voice asked me about the number of people in the car; I responded that we were three. He asked if there was something else damaged other than the car tires and the driver’s side. The voice asked if any of the airbags opened, and I answered no.

The voice said that he knew but had to verify the data from us before calling the police! At that moment, I recognized that I did not know with whom I was talking?!

The police asked us about our location. We said that we did not know where we were. It was pitch dark. The voice replied with our location.

After the horror passed, we discovered that the car was equipped with the Internet Of Things (IoT). It was programmed to call road emergencies when accidents happen automatically.

Worth mentioning, the car’s radio was off at the time, but the road emergency representative was able to control it remotely and switched it on. Through the sensors, the car sent him its malfunctions. About our precise location, we were not sure if the vehicle had a tracking device or by the global positioning system (GPS).

It is worth noting that this system has been added to all cars in Europe starting in April 2018, and it is a system called eCall.

In this incident, the IoT and the intelligence of the car saved us. Nevertheless, people we do not know…



Engy Fouda

Adjunct Lecturer@Suny New Paltz. Author. Docker,SAS,Kubernetes instructor at ONLC. Harvard University Alumni.Mail list: