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Hertz puts cameras in its rental cars, says it has no plans to use them


Hertz has offered the NeverLost navigational device for years, but it only added the built-in camera feature (which includes audio and video) to its latest version of the device — NeverLost 6 — in mid-2014. “Approximately a quarter of our vehicles across the country have a NeverLost unit and slightly more than half of those vehicles have the NeverLost 6 model installed,” Hertz spokesperson Evelin Imperatrice said by email. In other words, one in 8 Hertz cars has a camera inside — but Imperatrice says that, for now, they are inactive. “We do not have adequate bandwidth capabilities to the car to support streaming video at this time,” she said.

So why is Hertz creeping out customers with cameras it’s not using? “Hertz added the camera as a feature of the NeverLost 6 in the event it was decided, in the future, to activate live agent connectivity to customers by video. In that plan the customer would have needed to turn on the camera by pushing a button (while stationary),” Imperatrice explained. “The camera feature has not been launched, cannot be operated and we have no current plans to do so.”

The device is often included as a free perk for Hertz’s “Gold” members, meaning Hertz is taking the risk of creeping out its most loyal customers with the camera eye in the car. When asked whether customers were informed there would be a camera in the car, or told under what circumstance it would be activated, Imperatrice again emphasized that the cameras had never been used. “The camera on our NeverLost 6 devices has never been active (hence, it is never on) and we have no current plans to activate the camera in the future,” she said by email.


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