Obama Wants ‘Black Box Event Recorders’ in All Cars

Originally published: December 10, 2012
Updated: December 10, 2012 at 11:33 am
By

It is increasingly likely that every time you get behind the wheel, there is a a silent traffic cop along for the ride.

event data recorder
Dec. 10, 2012 Hicksville, NY (Moriches Daily) — With complete disregard for citizen privacy, we learn the Obama administration gave their consent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) to mandate black box event data recorders (EDR) be installed in all new cars in the US.


Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous loop, into most new cars for years.

Many motorists may not know it yet, but it is increasingly likely that every time you get behind the wheel, there is a spy along for the ride in the form of these Data Recorders, better known as “black boxes” — and they are in all new cars and light trucks.

Now, the NHTSA says that by September 2014 all car and light trucks will be equipped with EDRs that will silently “record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop.”

Here is a sampling of information recorded by EDRs:

  • vehicle speed
  • whether the brake was activated in the moments before a crash
  • crash forces at the moment of impact
  • information about the state of the engine throttle
  • air bag deployment timing and air bag readiness prior to the crash
  • whether the vehicle occupant’s seat belt was buckled

The NHTSA claims that “EDRs do not collect any personal identifying information or record conversations and do not run continuously.”

The idea behind the device is to gather information that can help investigators determine the cause of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.

There are virtually no rules that prohibit Government or private entities from archiving, selling or freely transmitting data captured by a surveillance system. The courts have yet to address the fundamental privacy rights implicated by the phenomenon of widespread surveillance.

Advanced EDRs can collect detailed information about drivers and their driving habits; including the size and weight of the driver, the seat position, the habits of the driver as well as passengers. (continued…)

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