Oct 162011
 October 16, 2011  Posted by  Surveillance

Every so often, the media reports on event data recorders in cars as if it was news.  Sadly, it is news to too many people who still seem unaware that your car can snitch on you. G. Chambers Williams III has an apt comment from a consumer:

“I didn’t think my ’98 Saturn was new enough to have the data recorder, but apparently it does, and I think it should be up to me to decide how and when I share that information with someone else,” said Bob McClellan Jr., 35, of Antioch.

“If I were given the opportunity to agree to have this on the vehicle when I buy it, then that probably would be OK,” McClellan said. “But 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.”


Laws have been implemented in 13 states to limit access to the information in the recorders, but there are no such regulations on the books in Tennessee and many other states to prevent someone from uploading the data without permission.

Read more on The Tennessean.

So… is a warrant required for the data? Dream on. Although individual companies or dealerships may decide to insist on a warrant, Nissan’s response is probably more typical:

“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.”

“Requested?” Just “requested?” Not good enough.   Not by a long shot.

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