May 24, 2011 weblog
The blackbox in your car
(PhysOrg.com) -- It is expected that within the next month officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will declare that all cars must have an event data recorder inside the vehicle.
The boxes, which are already used in planes are more commonly know by the name "black box", and are designed to record the condition of a vehicle and show us the last few seconds of the car before the crash. The device, which the driver would not be able to turn off, would be able to be used by law enforcement, insurance companies and automakers to gather more crash data.
There are some concerns about the use of the data, and the potential overreach of government authority, but this may not stop the mandate from going through. If you have an airbag in your car then the odds are that you already have one of these devices in your car, but the information that you will get about the device will probably come completely from the legal disclosure in your owners manual.
This new mandate may conflict with the laws of some states that prohibit the disclosure of this particular type of data. Though, the odds are that you do not live in one of those states that has these data protection laws. There are 37 states with no laws that bar the disclosure of this type of data. Currently, there are no federal laws that explicitly govern the access to this black box data, or any laws that clarify how much of this driving data other parties, such as your insurance company, can legally access.
© 2010 PhysOrg.com