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> The data provide the most detailed view yet of the passenger experience inside vehicles from Waymo, which doesn’t disclose the information even though it uses public roads as its testing grounds.

What's up with this statement? Should I be forced to publicize my phone calls just because I made them while driving on public roads? It's utterly bizarre that the author thinks he is entitled to see Waymo's data.

I'm not sure if I agree with the writer's statement here, and I'm not sure the right outcome is for Waymo to share data, but I don't think your analogy works.

Your individual phone calls are made as part of your general participation as an individual in society. One of the largest companies in the world, which does its best to avoid paying taxes, is using public roads as a fundamental part of the infrastructure for a project to generate data.

Maybe a better analogy is people who grow large amounts of marijuana in national parks? Yes, it's true that the growers are part of the public, and that the public owns the land, but...

I wouldn't have a problem with stuff like this if corporations were taxed at reasonable rates, and didn't participate so wholeheartedly in efforts to corrupt our democracy. Google donates to many truly vile, despicable politicians in order to shirk accountability, hamper regulation, and accomplish just this sort of de-facto subsidy and others like it.

Companies may or may not have agreements in place with local governments, and those agreements may or may not include provisions for compensation, data sharing etc. However, just saying "you used public roads so you have to make your data public" makes no sense.

How about UPS/FedEx? They certainly test new products on public roads and have no requirement to make public the resulting data.

As you can read above, I'm not arguing for the mandatory disclosure of data.

As you can read above, I wasn't implying you were. Merely pointing out another, perhaps better, analogy.

Corporations are made of people that pay income tax and property tax

>Corporations are made of people that pay income tax and property tax

Exactly. and drawing a distinction between the two is essential. In the US it seems to be, an ideal anyway.

>> corporations were taxed at reasonable rates

Corporate tax is incredibly high in the United States. It is why corporations funnel their money into other areas where it is taxed at a lower rate. No one gets away without being taxed. Payroll taxes, property taxes, use taxes, L&I taxes, etc.

I think the important point here is that Waymo is testing a dangerous technology on public roads. Putting the public at risk for their corporate benefit. If I'm a test obstacle to see if your car stops in time to avoid hitting me, I should probably get something out of the deal.

All car manufacturers test their cars on public roads.

No, because you get the use of the roads as part of paying your taxes. These are special licenses, providing resources for private research for free with the costs being borne by the public.

What costs?

There's a flaw in parent's comment in that the employees are themselves tax-paying citizens, but to answer your question anyway: land use, congestion, pollution, wear and tear, etc.

Passengers, who are property of the government, I guess?

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