A Black Box in Every Car?

According to Wired:

Federal regulators are proposing that new automobiles sold in the United States after September 2014 come equipped with black boxes, so-called “event data recorders” that chronicle everything from how fast a vehicle was traveling, the number of passengers and even a car’s location.

There is a place to comment; in case you want to oppose it:

  1. Israel P.

    Prepare yourselves for the argument that says if you think the possibility of armed guards at school will deter shooters, you must certainly acknowledge that black boxes will make people obey traffic laws and save lives.

    Followed by “If you have done nothing wrong, you will have nothing to fear.”

  2. Barkha Herman
    Israel P.:   Followed by “If you have done nothing wrong, you will have nothing to fear.” 

    Indeed.  The fact that Wired is picking up the story has some hope that enough people will complaint about it for it to be defeated this go around.  However with posts such as “Freedom for what” on Ricochet, it is clear that freedom getting less popular, not more…

  3. Brian Clendinen

    So what will the penlites be if I take it out.

  4. tabula rasa

    The nanny state runs amok.  I have no problem if people want to buy this as an option (though I have no clue why they would)–no one should be compelled to have one.

  5. Eeyore

    It’s only about one more gen of technology before you’ll be getting your rice-grain sized implant that will gather all that “necessary” info about you.

    But no worries, Barkha, it’s all for your own good.

  6. Jimmy Carter
    Israel P.: Followed by “If you have done nothing wrong, you will have nothing to fear.” · 3 hours ago

    Edited 3 hours ago

    Actually:”It’s for the children.”

  7. Crow
    drlorentz: The 13 states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Who knows if these state laws provide adequate protection or not. · 8 hours ago

    Quite the cross section of states.

    Israel P.: Prepare yourselves for the argument that says if you think the possibility of armed guards at school will deter shooters, you must certainly acknowledge that black boxes will make people obey traffic laws and save lives.

    Hey, here’s an idea! Maybe the black box can report you when you pull into the parking lot of a gun store!……

    The growth of the domestic “security state” just gets more troubling….

  8. drlorentz
    Jimmy Carter

    Actually:”It’s for the children.”

    It takes a village, right? Or should we append idiot to that?

  9. drlorentz

    I was going to submit a comment (as if that matters). However, in reading the proposed rule, I found this:

    The agency estimates that approximately 92 percent of the light vehicle fleet is equipped with Part 563 compliant EDRs.

    It’s too late, guys. Your only hope, apparently, for privacy protection is through state law:

     Currently, 13 states have EDR laws to address vehicle owners’ privacy and consumer concerns. Since 2006, more than a dozen other states have considered enacting similar legislation.

    The 13 states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Who knows if these state laws provide adequate protection or not.

  10. Barkha Herman
    Brian Clendinen: So what will the penlites be if I take it out. · 18 hours ago

    The trouble is that within one generation  it will be the norm, and we’ll have a generation of populous complacent to constant surveillance.

  11. Barkha Herman
    drlorentz: I was going to submit a comment (as if that matters). However, in reading the proposed rule, I found this:

    The agency estimates that approximately 92 percent of the light vehicle fleet is equipped with Part 563 compliant EDRs.

    It’s too late, guys. Your only hope, apparently, for privacy protection is through state law:

     Currently, 13 states have EDR laws to address vehicle owners’ privacy and consumer concerns. Since 2006, more than a dozen other states have considered enacting similar legislation.

    The 13 states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Who knows if these state laws provide adequate protection or not. · 14 hours ago

    Some of the “protection” are merely informing the buyer of the device.

  12. drlorentz
    Barkha Herman

    Some of the “protection” are merely informing the buyer of the device.

    That’s something. If I know about the device, and if I have a hammer, problem solved. Ooops, it’s broken.

    Isn’t there a song about that, If I Had a Hammer? Probably not what Pete Seeger had in mind though.

  13. Barkha Herman

    @drlorentz  :-D

    Yeah.  Wired magazine actually had instructions on how to deactivate the RFID chip in your passports without raising suspicions.

    I am not saying I did, and I am not saying I did not follow the instructions.

  14. drlorentz
    Barkha Herman: @drlorentz  :-D

    Yeah.  Wired magazine actually had instructions on how to deactivate the RFID chip in your passports without raising suspicions.

    I am not saying I did, and I am not saying I did not follow the instructions.

    Was there high voltage involved?

  15. Barkha Herman
    drlorentz

    Was there high voltage involved? · 0 minutes ago

    Speaking of hammers….

  16. John Murdoch

    A couple of thoughts:

    First, so what? The vast majority of cars on the road today already have event data recorders. Do you have an Onboard Diagnostics II (OBD II) chip in your car? That’s the EDR. 

    What does make this something of a big deal is if/when EDR data starts being used in court. If the EDR says that no one in the back seat was wearing a seat belt, and a child appears to have been thrown from the vehicle through the rear window, can the sensor data be used as evidence in a trial of the driver for vehicular manslaughter?

    The courts tend to seize on any kind of technology (or pseudo-technology, like bite mark “science”) and believe it to be absolute. The sensors in a car aren’t tested or calibrated–like any other car part, they’re carefully vetted to be the cheapest possible component that does the very limited job the manufacturer wants it to do–and nothing more. That worries me.

    (More)

  17. John Murdoch

    (Cont’d from #16)

    On the other hand, I hit a nine-point buck on a rural highway in New Hampshire two weeks ago. The cop said the deer was magnificent–and said that if I’d been traveling at the speed limit, the deer would likely have come through the windshield. 

    The airbags didn’t deploy. I’m guessing that’s because the sensors determined that (a) I wasn’t traveling that fast; (b) that I was wearing my seatbelt; and (c) I’d hit a relatively lightweight object (as opposed to an oncoming pickup truck). 

    The accident was a “walk-away.” No injuries, no medical expenses. 

    Ford, and my insurance company, can glean useful data from the EDR. If I’m one more in a list of a hundred thousand deer strikes, they can validate their existing design (the car was designed to “crumple” around me, absorbing the impact, and keeping the engine from being pushed back into the passenger compartment); they can even improve their design on next year’s car. 

    I think that’s a really good thing. 

    We need to protect privacy–but I’m perfectly comfy with providing this data to Ford.

  18. Barkha Herman
    John Murdoch: 

    I think that’s a really good thing. 

    We need to protect privacy–but I’m perfectly comfy with providing this data to Ford. · 

    John – this is the difference though.  Sharing your data with a private company, with full knowledge is one thing.  However Government mandates is another.

    For all the data a private company gathers on me – they cannot make me buy their product.  However the story is completely different with the Government.  They make the laws and they enforce it.  It is what they can then turn around and do with the gathered data is what is at issue here.

  19. Douglas
    Barkha Herman

    Brian Clendinen: So what will the penlites be if I take it out. · 18 hours ago

    The trouble is that within one generation  it will be the norm, and we’ll have a generation of populous complacent to constant surveillance. · 1 hour ago

    Possibly, but we have a template in how this will be crammed down our throats already in the form of federal highway funding. Drinking age is still 18? Sorry, no highway money this year. No black box enforcement at the state level? Gee, there goes that program to replace old bridges with federal highway money. Sorry about that.

    Also likely, people will resist, and then government will lean on insurance companies to make them accept these things. “No black box, no insurance policy”. And then people will just sigh, and accept it.

  20. John Hanson

    I designed flight data recorders for a living, and I know that all new existing vehicles already have the technology built into them.  The only thing that saves us now, is the regulatory structure to collect and distribute the data, then react to it is not yet in place.   The scariest types of data transfer do not even require that something be connected to your car to download the data, but can use a variation on Wi-FI or several other radio technologies to send a query to the recorder in your car and download the data, all without your knowledge.   Put the infrastructure in place, and the cop hiding behind the billboard is no longer needed, just use the Wi-Fi network to query your vehicle VIN ID then from anywhere in the world get the data, say the vehicles speed every 2 seconds, in a particular time frame, and coordinate it with the position readings from the built in GPS, and we know if you went 26 mph in the school zone yesterday and can send you a ticket.   What is scary is the hardware and software to do it already exists, only the regs added

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