Event Data Recorders: They’re Not Just for Safety

by on May 28, 2010 · 3 comments

In my recent testimony before the House Commerce Committee on a proposal to require event data recorders in all new cars sold in the United States, I pointed out that the mandate would go far beyond what is needed to ensure safety. Indeed, the cost of EDRs raises the prices of new cars, marginally reducing the pool of used cars and keeping lower income drivers in older used cars which are less safe.

The demand for EDRs in all cars, collecting and transmitting data about all crashes, suggests that something more than statistically relevant safety data is what advocates of this mandate want. I put a finer point on these issues today in answers to questions propounded to me after the hearing.

The proposed EDR mandate includes controls on the use of EDR information, a nominal protection for privacy, but the EDR mandate “sets the stage for migration away from consumer privacy toward serving the goals of government and industry related not only to safety but also to general law enforcement, taxation, and surveillance.”

The bill is H.R. 5381, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010. Other bills with EDR mandates include H.R. 5169, H.R. 5345, and S. 3271.

  • Mike_Wendy

    Very disturbing. I do not want to play the part of Luddite (as Berin thinks I may portray) – but all these tools we use now have become (or may soon be) statements against our own interest. I was thinking about this on my run today, and reflecting on the Post article this morning on the onslaught of privacy woes (in the specific context of civil suits). Data (of import) will all become networked. It will reside somewhere. I hate to suggest this, but do we need a law that protects against “abuse” – more than just asserting a negative right against government actions / abuse? I have created a very rough matrix of PII protections, but are we at a point when we ask for an overarching privacy “directive”? One that might cut against some of supporters' interests?

  • Mike_Wendy

    Very disturbing. I do not want to play the part of Luddite (as Berin thinks I may portray) – but all these tools we use now have become (or may soon be) statements against our own interest. I was thinking about this on my run today, and reflecting on the Post article this morning on the onslaught of privacy woes (in the specific context of civil suits). Data (of import) will all become networked. It will reside somewhere. I hate to suggest this, but do we need a law that protects against “abuse” – more than just asserting a negative right against government actions / abuse? I have created a very rough matrix of PII protections, but are we at a point when we ask for an overarching privacy “directive”? One that might cut against some of supporters' interests?

  • http://www.web2carz.com/used-cars Used Cars

    It's a matter of time, regardless of privacy concerns, that this is mandated.

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