Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Black Box Recorders: Groundbreaking Safety Devices Or The End Of Privacy? (In all cars by 2015)
The Car Connection ^ | 4/16/13 | Richard Read

Posted on 04/19/2013 12:53:56 PM PDT by LibWhacker

We're all familiar with event data recorders -- or as they're more commonly known, "black boxes". EDRs are standard equipment on airplanes, and any time there's a mishap, news programs are full of journalists making guesses about what the recorders will reveal.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that EDRs are coming to cars, too. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has backed legislation to make the devices mandatory on all new vehicles, beginning with the 2015 model year.

What you may not know is that the new legislation would only affect around 4% of vehicles sold in America. Why? Because the other 96% already have EDRs. If you drive a car made by a big-name automaker like Ford, General Motors, or Toyota, chances are good that there's a black box sitting in your dashboard.

In other words, the vast majority of vehicles sold in the U.S. today come with EDRs, and soon the gizmos will be found on all of them. Barring a huge shift in politics and/or technology, this situation isn't likely to change.

However, there are plenty of lingering questions about the mandatory installation of EDRs. Most of those questions revolve around privacy: (a) how should manufacturers notify new-car shoppers about the presence of the recording device, (b) how long should data be stored on the device, and (c) who owns that data?

AAA attempted to raise concerns about all three issues late last year, and the Associated Press has just picked up on the matter in the new video posted above. But so far, nothing has happened at the legislative level to address privacy concerns in a substantial way.

OUR TAKE

On the one hand, traditional notions of privacy seem to be changing. In an era when people are more than happy to share their locations on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, privacy ain't what it used to be. As a result, EDRs might not be seen as overly intrusive.

Also, EDRs stand to boost auto safety by noting technological and mechanical problems in our vehicles. And in the long term, devices similar to EDRs may play a key role in vehicle-to-vehicle communications, which could eliminate thousands of collisions each year.

On the other hand, just because our definition of privacy is in flux doesn't mean that there's no such thing as privacy anymore. There are still plenty of lines in the sand that few folks want to cross. 

For example, even if federal legislation doesn't stipulate that warrants are required to tap EDR data, one good lawsuit would likely find in favor of an individual's right to privacy. Courts have also questioned the usefulness of black box data, expressing wariness about the idea of EDRs as dispassionate witnesses to accidents. In fact, one judge in Nevada agreed that black box data "constitute[s] unreliable hearsay". 

And of course, EDRs could provide one more way for identity thieves to steal vital personal info. (Thankfully, someone's already working on a fix for that.)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: automobiles; blackboxes; cars; privacy
All I want to know is, how do you disable them?
1 posted on 04/19/2013 12:53:56 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

CWII


2 posted on 04/19/2013 12:55:42 PM PDT by bigheadfred
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

To be used to tax us by the miles we drive. A miles road usage tax.


3 posted on 04/19/2013 12:56:42 PM PDT by RetiredArmy (1 Cor 15: 50-54 & 1 Thess 4: 13-17. That about covers it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

And yet, we still are not allowed to see Ubama’s actual, physical birth certificate or find out which of the Social Security Numbers he has used is actually his.


4 posted on 04/19/2013 12:56:50 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth." --Alan Greenspan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

The restoration and renewal of old cars is going to be a booming growth industry over the next decade.


5 posted on 04/19/2013 12:56:53 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

I’ve been wondering if a strategically placed magnet would keep it from recording.


6 posted on 04/19/2013 12:57:18 PM PDT by Ingtar (Everyone complains about the weather, but only Liberals try to legislate it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

You will probably have a “choice”: Accept the spy or pay 10X higher insurance costs. We accepted the myth that driving is a privilege years ago.

Our world is shrinking one unacceptable “choice” at a time.


7 posted on 04/19/2013 12:59:19 PM PDT by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

That which can be built can be jammed.


8 posted on 04/19/2013 12:59:42 PM PDT by Da Coyote
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

>>All I want to know is, how do you disable them? <<

A new cottage industry that if it doesn’t arise I will start myself.


9 posted on 04/19/2013 12:59:48 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (LBJ declared war on poverty and lost. Barack Obama declared war on prosperity and won. /csmusaret)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Of course, the cost of this BIG Brother device will be passed on to the consumer.


10 posted on 04/19/2013 12:59:49 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Dude! Where's my Bill of Rights?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

You disable them - your car No Go.


11 posted on 04/19/2013 1:03:27 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

"Aroominum foil"

12 posted on 04/19/2013 1:07:10 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer

We are rapidly getting to the point, or already passed it, where technology for technology’s sake has gone beyond bounds. A few decades since the pocket calculator became cheap, simple mental math ability has been lost, people cannot even run a cash register now. Then comes the PDAs. People now roaming around with these things stuck in their ears like a bunch of zombies who cannot even carry on an in person conversation. Now we have cars reporting in how many miles we drive, where we are and so on so the government can keep tabs on us. Not for me. If I have to keep my current car till I die, so be it.


13 posted on 04/19/2013 1:09:54 PM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Won’t affect me. My ‘98 Firebird is the last car I’ll ever buy.


14 posted on 04/19/2013 1:12:13 PM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

A high-powered industrial magnet (like a bulk tape eraser) should scramble them enough to make them useless. Of course, tampering with one will be made a crime too, no doubt.


15 posted on 04/19/2013 1:12:25 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freedumb2003
A new cottage industry that if it doesn’t arise I will start myself.

I knew nothing about them until a friend showed me his flash reprogrammer for his Suburban. He programs it to get better power and gas mileage, reflashes it to factory default for smog checks and then flashes it back. You just plug it into the diagnostic port and push a button. They are not cheap but there is a huge gray market out there for them for all vehicles. I know there are instructions out there now to disable EDRs and I expect a similar market will arise for reflashing devices.

16 posted on 04/19/2013 1:17:01 PM PDT by atomic_dog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Lol, probably. Your car no go, the insurance company no pay, Congress declare you veeeeeery dangerous man, confiscate guns.


17 posted on 04/19/2013 1:19:57 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Time to buy a muscle car from the early 1970’s.


18 posted on 04/19/2013 1:23:07 PM PDT by july4thfreedomfoundation (November 4, 2008 and November 6, 2012.....Two days that will live in infamy!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Also, vehicle black boxes aren’t like airplane black boxes that also record cockpit conversations.

It’s really just additional memory in the car’s computer to record and store whatever the programmers tell it to. You won’t be able to disable it without disabling the car.

Right now it just records diagnostic data for mechanics to jack into with their scan tool.


19 posted on 04/19/2013 1:23:24 PM PDT by Valpal1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Da Coyote
That which can be built can be jammed.

The recorder can also be monitored by the computer so if it is disabled in any manner the vehicle will not run. There are already a number of vehicle systems monitored that the computer will shut down the vehicle if they malfunction. The "black box" is a recording function of the computer. To disable it one must disable the computer. Try disabling the computer and see if that works for you.

20 posted on 04/19/2013 1:25:08 PM PDT by Ben Mugged (The number one enemy of liberalism is reality.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

Yup, I hear you. I’m either going to have to get my a** to Mars, or to Barrett-Jackson/Mecum, which I’ve always wanted to do anyhoo. I have a feeling I’d better do it soon, though, before blackbox-driven demand drives the price of restored autos through the roof, ‘cause everyone who is incapable of restoring a car himself is going to have the same idea!


21 posted on 04/19/2013 1:26:15 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington

Support Free Republic

22 posted on 04/19/2013 1:30:12 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: july4thfreedomfoundation

Yup, with all this talk of EMP lately, I don’t want a car with any computers, chips, solid state devices, black boxes, etc., anyhow! I’d even be quite willing to go back to the 50s. Loved those cars anyway.


23 posted on 04/19/2013 1:31:47 PM PDT by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Valpal1

Right now it just records diagnostic data for mechanics to jack into with their scan tool.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
I have heard of cases where say a Tractor Trailer with the ‘black box’ being ‘observed’ going over the speed limit a few miles/hours etc up the road and getting in a accident ‘NOT his fault’ and the defense claiming that proof of him speeding puts HIM at fault because if he hadn’t been speeding, he wouldn’t have been there at the precise time.

Probably ‘somewhat’ hokum BUT it surely wouldn’t surprise me.


24 posted on 04/19/2013 1:32:34 PM PDT by xrmusn (6/98 --I turn 75 next year- but remember, that's only 24 Celsius. (TKS R. Reagan))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

First, they are NOT safety devices. They won’t do a ting to prevent an accident. They are being pushed by insurance companies so they can use the data in their lawsuits and the police so they can know who to ticket. Nothing more.


25 posted on 04/19/2013 1:36:17 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Inside every liberal and WOD defender is a totalitarian screaming to get out.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

You disable them - your car No Go.
************************************
You have small imagination ,,, what if you modify it to use only 1k of memory instead of a few GB or write to a volatile memory location instead of non-volatile and leave the programs function alone ... I will get in on this myself...


26 posted on 04/19/2013 1:55:20 PM PDT by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: IronJack

Can’t you guys spell “solid sate memory”????????

Sold at you local 7-eleven as “Flash Memory Stick”, or some such. 16GBytes at least is now dirt cheap, and you can BANK on (much) bigger ones coming tomorrow ..............


27 posted on 04/19/2013 2:16:33 PM PDT by CanuckYank
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Awfully nice of them, getting on board.

...after 96% OF NEW CARS ALREADY HAVE THEM!!!!


28 posted on 04/19/2013 2:28:50 PM PDT by BobL (Look up "CSCOPE" if you want to see something really scary)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker

Flo, the insurance gal, is already using these devices under disguise of lowering your insurance rates.

Slow boiling the Progressive frogs.


29 posted on 04/19/2013 2:38:48 PM PDT by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CanuckYank
Duh. I'm still back in the mag days.

I'd imagine the write interface is tamper-proof, so there's not much chance of being able to wipe the memory. But since the engine management module is feeding data into that memory constantly, there has to be some kind of interface you could tap into. And if you knew the microcode, you could erase the entire contents.

Or just enough of it to make the rest unreliable.

30 posted on 04/19/2013 2:45:37 PM PDT by IronJack (=)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: hattend

Flo knows.....


31 posted on 04/19/2013 2:47:51 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: IronJack
A high-powered industrial magnet (like a bulk tape eraser) should scramble them enough to make them useless.

True, but who wants an immobile $40,000 Lexus in their driveway as a landscape sculpture?

32 posted on 04/19/2013 2:49:57 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog
The restoration and renewal of old cars is going to be a booming growth industry over the next decade.

My 1978 Silverado has been begging me to be rebuilt. I guess it's about time. I got 20 years and 305,000 miles out of it the first time...it would outlast me this time.
33 posted on 04/19/2013 7:43:40 PM PDT by jy8z (From the next to last exit before the end of the internet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson