Government Mandate for Car Black Boxes Puts Privacy at Risk

No standards are yet in place limiting official access to data


On Friday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) formally proposed regulations requiring the placement of "black boxes" in cars. More properly known as "Event Data Recorders," or EDRs, these are similar to the devices of the same name placed in aircraft, which record data about the vehicle's operating characteristics in the seconds before a crash.

If these devices can be used to reduce accidents and fatalities on our roads, that is a good thing, but they do raise issues of privacy and fairness and there absolutely is no reason that we can't have our privacy and fairness, and safety too.