Are Vehicle Data Recorders Safety Benefit or Privacy Curse? - February 8, 2011

The Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and the Nation­al High­way Trans­porta­tion Admin­is­tra­tion are con­sid­er­ing the instal­la­tion of data recorders or “black box­es” on all pas­sen­ger vehi­cles. Data from “event data recorders” on Toy­otas per­mit­ted the DOT and NHTSA to deter­mine the unin­tend­ed accel­er­a­tion on Toy­otas was not caused by faulty elec­tron­ics. Pri­va­cy advo­cates argue that vehi­cle track­ing by GPS and the data these recorders pro­duce must be pro­tect­ed and not avail­able with­out release by the vehi­cle own­er or by court order.