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Those who sign up for automatic payments at US toll booths provide sensitive information, such as their home address, credit card numbers, driving license information and license plate numbers, to speed up their commute.

But that information, along with US traffic patterns and vulnerabilities at airports and military bases, could end up in the hands of other countries – including opponents – if the pending sale of the country’s major tolling company, Transcor, to the Singapore-based firm goes through. Via, experts told Granthshala Business.

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They say the sale raises concerns not only about the potential sharing of personal data, but also about the risks National Security,

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Nashville-based Transcore is responsible for about 70% of the tolls Americans pay through operations such as its E-ZPass payment system, which is used on “toll roads in 24 of 25 states,” according to the report. SEC filings From 2017.

The company’s website notes that “11 of the 15 largest toll agencies in the United States use the Transcore toll collection system for every type of tolling system.”

Transcor is owned by Florida-based Roper Technologies, which announced In early October it was being bought by Singapore Technologies Engineering, then known as ST Engineering, for $2.68 billion.

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ST Engineering is a defense and engineering firm that sells to over 100 other countries. Its majority shareholder is Temasek Holdings, which is required by law each year to help fund Singapore’s budget and also does substantial business. China,

Given China’s influence on both the Singapore government and Temasek, the communist nation and other countries could potentially end up with Transcor’s data if ST Engineering is able to buy the US company, according to a source familiar with the matter. Spoke to Granthshala Business. Condition of anonymity.

A second source, a transportation expert, who also asked to remain anonymous, voiced the same security concerns and told Granthshala Business that Transcore data could be used to identify toll route patterns of an individual by a person of high national interest in the US. can be used to track the location of

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NS Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has the power to prevent acquisitions under the Treasury Department, but is prohibited by law from disclosing whether the transaction is being considered. However, ST Engineering confirmed to Granthshala Business that they had voluntarily filed for CFIUS approval.

For now, the deal stands a good chance for that approval.

ST Engineering has had great success in buying US companies, claiming in a statement earlier this year that it has “successfully obtained CFIUS approval for all of its previous 11 acquisitions in the US where such approval was sought.” which included all three of its acquisitions in 2019.”

Tim McBride, president and president of ST Engineering North America, told Granthshala Business, “ST Engineering has been operating in the US for more than 20 years, employing 5,000 people in 12 states across the country, noting that the US headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia.

A separate ST Engineering spokesperson dismissed the data-sharing concerns, saying, “Transcore’s business involves limited data in tolling and traffic management on behalf of its customers. Transcore owns and controls customer data, how it is used.” where it is stored. ST Engineering is committed to supporting Transcore in meeting its obligations to customers, including data protection requirements. To that end, all data will continue to be stored in the US.”

A client of Transcor is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is the largest transportation network in North America and covers the entirety of New York City, other parts of New York State, and Connecticut. The MTA does not appear to be related to selling Transcor to ST.

Triborough Bridge

MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan told Granthshala Business in a statement: “The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority’s contract with Transcore provides clear privacy and security safeguards that are binding on any new owner of the business, regardless of their location. Yes, and the MTA trusts its customers. Are reasonably protected from unauthorized disclosure.”

After the sale, ST Engineering says it intends to continue operating Transcor as it does now under Roper Technologies, “with the same staff and management team.”

Claiming to be at risk of influence from the Singapore government, an ST Engineering spokesperson said, “As a stock exchange-listed commercial enterprise, ST Engineering operates on the basis of commercial principles without interference from the government or Temasek, and It adheres to sound corporate governance and compliance rules.”

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Roper Technologies issued a statement to Granthshala Business saying, “Roper is confident that ST Engineering will be an excellent long-term owner of Transcore given ST Engineering’s global presence, extensive operations in the US, and strong reputation among members of the business community.” . US Government.”

However, Granthshala Business sources say that government agencies in several states have “significant questions about the impact on data and homeland security,” and intend to present their concerns to the Treasury Department committee. .