4G Modem Disabling Instructions:

Epiphany

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I like to disassemble things.
I cringe every time this screen pops up on my '20 GT500...

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ice445

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I feel like I should disable this but the idea of Ford pulling up my report of doing 120+ in random places amuses me. At least until it's inevitably used against me.
 

Tomster

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just teasing :)
They are not trying to read thoughts, but instead collect your private data. I dont believe in a lot of these class action lawsuits, but this is theft IMHO. I never agreed to let Ford monitor my car and take my data.

As tech continues to evolve, it seems our privacy continues to erode. Be honest, how many people had no clue that Ford was doing this? Just for that reason, I'm pulling the plug on the mobile spyware that our cars have built into them.
 

ice445

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They are not trying to read thoughts, but instead collect your private data. I dont believe in a lot of these class action lawsuits, but this is theft IMHO. I never agreed to let Ford monitor my car and take my data.

As tech continues to evolve, it seems our privacy continues to erode. Be honest, how many people had no clue that Ford was doing this? Just for that reason, I'm pulling the plug on the mobile splyware that our cars have built into them.
From the manufacturer's point of view, the data on HOW exactly their customers use their cars and for what purpose is massively valuable in aggregate. It's not being used at the individual level...yet. But currently, they want to know where certain models are typically taken, how the owners drive, etc. It gives them so much of a leg up on making their vehicles better. It's also not just Ford. Toyota, VW, etc, they're all implementing this type of stuff to stay competitive. Toyota's "privacy agreement" is even worse than Ford's, lol. It's basically "you accept that we can collect whatever we want or don't drive the car". You agreed when you signed the purchase documents, whether you knew it or not.
 

jmn444

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Seems like all this data would just be stored internally for them to pull when they do warranty work too though. Anybody know if that's true or false?
 

ice445

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Seems like all this data would just be stored internally for them to pull when they do warranty work too though. Anybody know if that's true or false?
No way of knowing, really. The data recording capability of the car includes pretty much every running parameter, including how you're driving it. But unless Ford put "soft" flags in there that record and upload to their servers when it sees something that it doesn't like, I doubt it will really be used to pinpoint specific instances of "hey you abused it here so we voided your warranty". I know with certain DTC's that the car will record a snapshot of all relevant data and store it for later, but that's more just for diagnostic purposes, and is likely only to out you if you have a tune or something.

We have to remember though, Ford is paying for all this data to be managed and sent to them, and then stored. So I would wager they're only recording and storing the most financially beneficial information.
 

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For you folks in the know- the 4G modem is a ‘19+ feature?

I searched the ‘16 manual and supplement and didn’t see a fuse for ‘telematics’ and ‘modem’. I did find telematics in the manual but it was referencing foreigners countries.

I’ll link this in the Sticky, just want to have the facts straight.

Thanks in advance :hattip:
 

DCShelby

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It first appeared on the 19 model. Under that year the cars do not have it. I’d expect Ford will wise up on this technique soon enough and when you pull the fuse, they might disable other things besides the telematics system that you might need.
 

MikeyTX

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Not sure why so many are getting so upset. The federally mandated data recorder that acts like as airplane black box collects and stores more info to worry about than what the modem is sending to Ford.
 

jmn444

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Not sure why so many are getting so upset. The federally mandated data recorder that acts like as airplane black box collects and stores more info to worry about than what the modem is sending to Ford.
kinda my feeling too.
 
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drummerboy

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Not sure why so many are getting so upset. The federally mandated data recorder that acts like as airplane black box collects and stores more info to worry about than what the modem is sending to Ford.
Collects and stores is very different from constantly sending.

Additionally, you're back to the "well, they have this thing, so I might as well let them have this other thing, too" argument. It's not all or nothing, it's one thing at a time. I looked into disabling the modem as it was right up my alley - I've never looked into the black box, maybe I should peek at that next?
 
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drummerboy

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A quick precursory search on the black box suggests it only saves the data from a crash. Do I believe that? Well, maybe. Tech and corporations have taught me that they like to be misleading about what they collect. That said, I'm not sure they're going to include a large enough disk to collect every single data point about a car's movements over a long stretch of time. It also appears to be tied into the airbags, so I'm guessing tampering with it would take extreme caution.

At any rate, it's worth looking into, so thanks for bringing it up. Maybe we can make another thread about that specifically some time.
 

okfoz

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From my understanding the "Black Box" only records data for a short time before it is over written. So if you are in an accident it can pull the previous few moments of data so they can determine things such as your speed, whether or not you hit the brakes etc. It would also protect Ford in the case of an accident, if you say your brakes failed, they can look at the data and determine whether or not you actually did depress the pedal as an example.

As for the 4G stuff, I would be pulling that fuse right away. Glad I have a 2016 Mustang and a 2018 Edge
 

Lorne34

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I know there are at least a few of you that share my concerns for many various reasons:

Weird Insurance situation - if anyone can exp
Disabling 4G modem on 2019+ cars
Looks like the Norks are trying to hack into my car

Whether it's data collection, raised insurance premiums after a track day, hacking and cyber attacks, or some other concern, we shouldn't be forced to have our cars sharing who knows what with who knows who. Our cars have a telematics control unit (TCU) that does... well, I can't say for sure what it does other than that it has something to do with the 4G modem communication and data collection. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telematic_control_unit

I have a handy dandy RF meter that very simply shows me the strength of wireless RF radiation. I meant to do this a long time ago, but this afternoon I turned it on and took it to my 2019. When I opened the door, I heard the familiar chirps and buzzes of a mobile phone, but my phone was far away, inside the house. With all of the radios turned off (mobile data, bluetooth, etc.). And in airplane mode. My phone wouldn't have spiked my RF meter from the garage anyway, but I wanted to isolate any RF from my car for this experiment, so my Wi-Fi was also turned off. Prior to getting in my car my meter showed nearly no RF signal whatsoever (I live a decent distance from any significant broadcasters such as cell towers).

Awhile back I decided on a plan of attack to disable the TCU. The first trick up my sleeve? Pull a fuse.

And with that... I present to you the full detailed instructions on how to disable the 4G modem:


STEP 1) Disconnect fuse #10: Telematics

STEP 2) ...


There is no step 2. At least not for now (let me know how it goes for you).

Could it really be that easy? I know it's only a 5A fuse, but I had in my mind that perhaps navigation or bluetooth might no longer work, and I'd have to try plan B. But no, nav and BT are still fully functional. This little fuse appears to be for just the modem. I can still see the RF signal from the key fob and bluetooth, but the modem is gone.

Stay tuned for episode 2 where I reconnect the fuse and triangulate the RF signal to the modem location for possible removal (sure, there might be a more conventional method for finding it, but this is more fun).

So, there you have it, fellow tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists. Very simple. Very effective.

If you find a potential problem such as something else not working as expected, let me know and I'll expedite the modem location process for a try at just unplugging it.

Epilogue:

Very many of us have no use for our cars sending data to someone. I get in my car to go from point A to point B for whatever reason. I like horsepower, an ode to exhaust written by chewbacca himself, and good sounding tunes. None of these things require me to give up privacy. I don't even know what convenience the 4G modem gives me... in-car Wi-Fi? If I'd like in-car Wi-Fi then I'd have to consider my options. But since I have zero use for it, I've very happily disabled it. No need to give that data for free to whoever wants it. There's no need to just throw up your hands and say Corporation A knows this about me, Corporation B knows that about me, might as well just let Corporation C have this other data. What our phones do, what EZ Pass does, etc. are all separate issues that can be decided upon and handled separately from our cars sending whatever data they are sending.
Thanks, for the info, this is going to the top of my mods list...
I have a friend who started a business helping people identify intrusive RF signals in their home as it has been associated with all kinds of health issues. Here we are in America pushing 5g while Europe and other countries are pulling it out of schools and other public places. I personally do not want additional RF signals penetrating my body and brain as I take a two day cross country trip. If I need wifi for something I will temp enable a hot spot on my phone.
By the way, for those who don't know, you can download music, gps routes, etc to your phone and turn off wifi/data if you want to take a break from it. We all survived in the past without it.... now it's being pushed like its a "NEED"
I work in IT and I hate all of the wifi, bluetooth, RF signals that are flowing through the air....
and don't get me started about electronics in simple appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, etc...
 

DrumReaper

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What happens when GEICO asks Ford to “sell” its car data for “safety purposes” and your weekend trip to the track or your on-ramp spirited driving with a 1.05g turn gets you a rate increase at GEICO...

Or when the government can work with Ford to secure your telematics info for various reasons you’re not aware of...

Yeah... I’m not a fan.
 

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