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Report: N.J. Man Discovers E-ZPass Is Tracked All Over NYC

DOT Admits To Using Info To Monitor Traffic
E-ZPass - File / Photo: E-ZPass/Getty Images

E-ZPass – File / Photo: E-ZPass/Getty Images

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – E-ZPass is not just for paying tolls anymore.

A New Jersey driver, known on the Internet as “Puking Monkey,” discovered his E-ZPass was being used to track his car even when he was nowhere near a toll booth, according to Forbes.

The man rigged his E-ZPass to a miniature plastic cow that would moo whenever the transponder was read, Forbes reported.

The driver posted a 90-second video on YouTube showing the cow “mooing” five times during a trip from Times Square to Madison Square Garden.

Another video showed the cow moo on the outbound Lincoln Tunnel where there was no toll.

The Department of Transportation admits it has been tracking E-ZPass information throughout the city for years, but only to monitor traffic flow, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

“E-ZPass doesn’t go ‘Oh, by the way we also use it for other purposes and that might be to track you or to track traffic,'” the “Puking Monkey” told 1010 WINS. “It’s not disclosed so you don’t have the opportunity to say I don’t want that piece I only wanted to pay tolls.”

Some motorists heading into midtown Manhattan found the news troubling.

“I don’t think it’s acceptable at all,” one driver said.

“It’s an invasion of privacy,” another driver said.

Others shrugged it off.

“I’m not really that surprised, with the terror threats, it might be pretty good,” one man said.

The “Puking Monkey” said there is a way to avoid being monitored.

“With the E-ZPass you could always opt out, you could always put the transponder in the anti-static bag it came with and it tends not to go off at that point,” he said. “So you have the opportunity not to be tracked.”

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