Nov 142011
 November 14, 2011  Posted by  Court, Surveillance

Mike Brunker reports on the “staggering” amount of information that cars’ electronic data recorders (EDRs) collect and the role such data might play in criminal prosecutions or defense:

The [new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations that take effect next year] rules do not require EDRs – already in use in more than 85 percent of U.S. vehicles – but they mandate that in cars that have them, the devices must capture and preserve at least 15 types of crash data, including pre-crash speed, engine throttle, changes in forward velocity and airbag deployment times. And one day, the agency noted in its final rule, they may even play a role in getting emergency medical service quickly dispatched to the scene of an accident by automatically sending a 911 alert.

Even now, however, such information could be cross-checked with information from devices like cellphones and GPS units to build what could be an air-tight court case.

“Now you’re in a situation where, if someone has the time and expertise, they can say you drove from here to there at this speed, you parked at Whole Foods, here’s what you bought, then you got back in your car and drove here and made a call to this number,” said Dean Gonsowski, eDiscovery counsel with Clearwell, which is part of the security firm Symantec. “… It’s staggering how much information can be collected.”

Read more on MSNBC.  I was interested to learn that there are some who are trying to get EDR data to be treated as “hearsay” evidence. Hmm.

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