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How About a "Black Box" in Your Private Automobile? Good Idea or Privacy concern?

by James Denison / March 18, 2004 11:24 PM PST

This story is 2 years old but....

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers said it has begun work on a universal standard for vehicle-based data recorders that would capture crash information for analysis. The IEEE standard, due out in 2003, is expected to help manufacturers develop such devices for autos, trucks, buses, ambulances, fire trucks and other vehicles.....

Martinez has petitioned NHTSA to mandate the inclusion of a black box, or at least a dedicated data chip, on every vehicle sold in the United States. That way, he said, the information gleaned by wheel speed sensors, airbag sensors, crankshaft sensors, yaw sensors and seat belt sensors could be collected and stored on board vehicles. It could then be analyzed by experts to determine a vehicle's "delta V," or change in velocity, in the moments before impact. And it could tell researchers whether airbags fired properly, whether seat belts were buckled and whether brakes failed....(more at site)

Will your state protect your "black box" from testifying against you? Will it help you prove the other guy was at fault? Is this the right approach? Do we need these "black boxes" and should we be allowed to disconnect them or will they be as mandatory as seatbelts and airbags, with penalties for tampering or removal?

A little-publicized privacy bill signed into law Monday aims to protect California motorists from a little-known device dubbed the "black box" that records data on how a vehicle was being driven just before an accident.
The legislation, the first of its kind in the nation, prevents the recorded data from being obtained by police or others without the vehicle owner's consent or a court order -- except in cases of safety research in which the owner's identity is protected.

The law, which takes effect July 1, 2004, also requires automakers to disclose the presence of the devices in the owner's manual.
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Privacy concern!

sfgate? ?

James, I'm surprised you don't have your firewall block this site!



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Well...if I hit a good article from Google. [nt]
by James Denison / March 19, 2004 9:56 AM PST
In reply to: Privacy concern!


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How's this for spam?

I can get into the computer of a Toyota Prius Hybrid and program it to flash a message on the energy monitor screen telling you to come in for your scheduled service at any dealership I choose(ours) Happy

As it is,the amount of info the computers on that car collect boggles the mind.You almost have to be IT certified to understand everything it's telling you.They only want specially trained master techs working on it.

All parameters mentioned plus many more are monitored,I can even tell how many times the customer stepped on the gas while it was in neutral.

Right Now,the info is only used to help diagnose real or perceived problems to keep customer satisfaction high.It would not be hard to turn that car into a big rolling black box if they were ordered to.

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