Indiana News

New Proposal Could Require Black Boxes in Every Car

2/19/2013

A new proposal is going through Congress that could require all cars sold by September 1st, 2014 to have electronic data recorders.

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Many recorders, or black boxes, are already used in many vehicles but some say they're a violation of privacy rights.  James Nehf, Professor of Law at the IU McKinney School of Law, says they're not, but privacy issues do arise when it comes to who has access to the data that's recorded.  "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration takes the view that the device belongs to the owner of the vehicle so that means that even the government can't get access to it without your permission."

Nehf says issues can also arise with insurance companies requiring car owners in their insurance policies to give them access to the data, if needed.  He says the data can also be obtained through a court order in many cases, even in states that have privacy laws in place regarding the devices.

Nehf adds the issue of data integrity can also come up.  He says once the data is accessed, there's the possibility of data manipulation which would make it difficult for a driver to contest an accident claim.

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