The Senate passed a bill in March that will require “mandatory event data recorders” or black boxes to be installed in all motor vehicles, beginning with 2015 models, according to the Wall Street Journal. The black boxes, similar to the ones used in airplanes, would record data before, during or after a crash.
The boxes will record data such as speed, brake force and electrical systems monitoring. They would help automakers to pinpoint defects to better understand a system’s performance in the event of a collision, according to the Huffington Post. The boxes are currently be in used in some models, such in GM’s OnStar system to alert emergency response services in the event of a crash.
The bill has a privacy provision that only allows data to be retrieved by the owner, with some exceptions. Medical workers would be allowed to access it in an emergency. The data may also be retrieved if it is ordered by the court or if it’s relevant in an investigation or inspection.
The black box would always be on and wouldn’t let drivers control the data being collected. The issue has raised serious privacy concerns from its opponents, who see it as a “Big Brother” influence that allows the government to access your location. Supporters argue that privacy concerns are irrelevant, as at least 64% of cars had a black box installed- this number included 100% of cars made by General Motors, Ford, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Suzuki, according to PCWorld.
What is your opinion on the new requirement? Is it a great new safety feature or a violation of privacy? We’d love to hear from you.
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