Black-Boxes Found in Cars

A standard aircraft black-box

Data recorders capturing every twist and turn a driver makes is upsetting some motorists. When a car’s emergency airbag is deployed, black-boxes save the driving speed, how much the brakes or accelerator was being pressed, if the seat belt was buckled in, and more information.

Getting your driving data is easy. All one has to do is plug in a cable from your car to a laptop and transfer it. The data can then be used against you in court, or given to insurance companies to determine how much money should be appropriated.

According to Nissan spokesman Steve Yaeger:

“We have event data recorders on all of our vehicles, and we have software called Consult that can be used by qualified people to read that data,” Yaeger said. “All of our dealers have it. But it’s protected by a code, and is not available to just everybody.”

“If it’s requested by law enforcement or court order, though, we can provide the information for that.”

Some are crying invasion of privacy. One driver said that, “… if I own the car, it’s my business what’s on the recorder, and no one should be able to access it unless I say so.”

What is even more upsetting is that these snooping devices cannot be turned off. The executive director of the National Motorists Association says, “It’s in the cars, it can’t be turned off, and the information is available to anyone with a court order…”

Is this collection of driving data a problem? Maybe so, but those angered by car black-boxes should additionally turn their attention to iPhones – since they record much more information than the boxes do.