Alarms Raised Over Sale of U.S. Toll Firm to Singapore-Based Company

NEW YORK -
Toll signage as motorists travel along the New Jersey Turnpike in Carneys Point, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Experts have raised security concerns over the impending sale of the country’s major tolling company, TransCore, to a foreign business, due to fears personal and sensitive national information being compromised, Fox News reported.

Americans who sign up for automatics payment at tolls are handing over their credit card number, home addresses, credit card numbers, driver’s license information and license plate numbers. Additionally, traffic patterns and movement around airports and military bases are tracked.

Nashville-based TransCore is responsible for around 70% of all tolls, which are paid through E-ZPass payment system. TransCore is owned by Florida-based Roper Technologies, which was bought by Singapore Technologies Engineering for $2.68 billion in early October.

ST Engineering does business with 100 countries, and a substantial amount of work with China. There are concerns these foreign countries may be able to access TransCore’s data through ST Engineering. The majority shareholder of ST Engineering is Temasek Holdings, which helps fund Singapore’s budget and has close ties to Chinese business.

According to a transportation expert who raised security concerns, TransCore data could be used to track high-profile individuals by identifying his or her toll route patterns.

An ST Engineering spokesperson dismissed the concerns, telling Fox, “TransCore’s business involves limited data in tolling and traffic management on behalf of its customers. TransCore customers own and control the data, how it is used and where it is stored. ST Engineering is committed to supporting TransCore in fulfilling its obligations to customers, including data protection requirements. To that end, all data will continue to be stored in the U.S.”

One customer of TransCore is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which covers all of New York City, much of New York state, and Connecticut.

MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan told Fox in a statement, “The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority’s contract with TransCore provides explicit privacy and security protections which are binding on any new owner of the business, regardless of its location, and the MTA is confident its customers are appropriately protected from unauthorized disclosures.”