Congress wants all cars to have event data recording devices
I asked on a recent post of mine, after learning about CISPA, which followed ACTA and SOPA, what could be nexta? In a joking manner, I really didn’t think, at least I didn’t hope there would be something I would be writing about days later that could be answering that question. The answer may end up being MAP-21.
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) is yet another bill (Senate Bill 1813) that Congress is trying to pass that could possibly end up being an invasion of our privacy. This time it’s with American vehicles, which Congress wants to have every car equipped with event data recording devices by the year 2015.
The bill calls for the installation of mandatory recorders and communication devices in American cars that could connect the whereabouts and actions of the drivers with whomever the government wants to grant access to says RT. The bill is being positioned as an ‘event data’ recorder, very similar to a black box in airplanes. So if the airbag is deployed, there is a crash or the car has a rollover, audio and location information is captured for a period of time before, during and after the event; for how long, we don’t know yet.
The concept makes sense, and I wouldn’t have a big problem with this, however after reading about CISPA, why should I think that the government wouldn’t use CISPA or some other law to bypass legalities to gain access to the information on these recording devices? Maybe it’s just a trust issue at this point, as I no longer trust Congress’ intentions on our privacy. Here are some important bullet points on MAP-21 from Section 31406:
- Beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder
- Ownership of data is the property of the vehicle owner
- Data recorded or transmitted by such a data recorder may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle in which the recorder is installed unless— (and here is where my concern is)
- A court authorizes retrieval of the information in furtherance of a legal proceeding;
- The information is retrieved pursuant to an investigation or inspection authorized under section 1131(a) or 30166 of title 49, United States Code
- Access to Event Data Recorders in Agency Investigations- Section 30166(c)(3)(C) of title 49, United States Code
So is this simply a safety feature, or given Congress’ track record and all these laws they are trying to sneak through, should we be worried?