Black boxes: Potential privacy invasion?
Dec 12, 2012
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently proposed that all new vehicles be outfitted with black boxes that record and transmit crash-related data, according to Reuters.
The boxes are intended to record data so that investigators and automakers can determine the causes behind the many thousands of car accidents that occur across the country every year. However, some are concerned that the boxes also represent an invasion of driver privacy.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration responded to privacy concerns by stating that the device would only turn on and begin to record data in the moments before, during and after the accident. An airbag deployment, bump or heavy braking triggers the on-switch, noted a spokesperson for the Transportation Department arm.
Furthermore, the data would be treated, under policy, as property of the driver, and would not be accessed without the driver's express permission.
Such a device could have an effect on the number of accidents per year, particularly if automakers are able to determine defects that lead to an accident. Furthermore, if drivers have fewer accidents, they will be rewarded with decreased auto insurance rates as well as a higher level of safety.