Jan 152013
 January 15, 2013  Posted by  Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

Over on MassPrivateI, Gary Biller, President of the National Motorist Association, writes:

I have long considered my car a sanctuary. Even when faced with oblivious drivers anchored in the left lane or with snarled traffic—usually cause and effect—I feel secure while in command from the cockpit of my Nissan Murano.

But that is a false sense of security. My Murano, and roughly 85 percent of all other vehicles on the road today are equipped with event data recorders (EDRs) that continually monitor driving habits. And, thanks to new federal rules, EDRs will be required equipment in all new cars and light duty trucks beginning in 2014.

I have blogged about EDRs on this blog a number of times and the privacy concerns associated with their mandatory installation. Gary makes the concerns and a possible solution crystal clear:

There is only one true solution. The vehicle owner should have the option to disable the EDR without affecting the functionality of the vehicle itself. Responsible adults are capable of making responsible decisions for themselves and for their families. If one owner decides that there are benefits to having an active EDR in full information-gathering mode and another doesn’t want the data collected, both should be within their rights.

While the current EDR design standard does not include the capability for wireless transmission of data, it likely will in the future. Some insurance companies already remotely upload vehicle performance data with the permission of their policyholders. That can provide industrious third parties with a means to capture EDR contents without the vehicle owner’s permission.

Read more of Gary’s column on MassPrivateI.

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