AC Privacy Black Boxes CNN

AC Privacy Black Boxes CNN - 1 Your car, the black box and...

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Your car, the black box and Big Brother Event data recorders can tell police if you were speeding before a crash. Is that a good thing? By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com www.cnn.com November 23, 2006 Wednesday, August 23, 2006 Posted: 1952 GMT (0352 HKT) NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Everyone's familiar with the idea of "black boxes" in commercial airliners. They keep a record of everything the aircraft does so that, in the event of an accident, investigators can reconstruct what happened in the minutes leading up to the crash. Ironically, most people are unfamiliar with the "black boxes" in their own cars. In 2005, it was estimated that about 64 percent of passenger cars on the market came equipped from the factory with "Event Data Recorders" that kept a computer record of various things a driver was doing in the moments just before and after a serious impact. The number today is certainly much higher and the devices are becoming more advanced. A recent rule passed by NHTSA requires manufacturers to tell people, in the owners manual, if their car has one of these data-recording devices. As it turns out, that formation has been in most owners' manuals for years. It's just that few people read their owners manuals. The EDRs don't record voices and they only record a few seconds of data about what the car was doing right before and after the crash. Proponents point to the life-saving potential of that data which can be used to assess the performance of a car's safety systems and even to research unusual crash scenarios. Despite the positive potential, many people still have concerns about their privacy. After all, the car they drive every day could turn snitch. What cars have Event Data Recorders? If you've purchased a new car in the past two or three years, chances are excellent that it has one. All General Motors passenger vehicles have them, for example. Ford, Toyota and other manufacturers have been including these devices in their cars for years. How do I know if my car has an Event Data Recorder? Check your owner's manual. Look in the index for "Event Data Recorder." Several states already require car manufacturers to disclose the use of EDRs in the manual. Toyota, Ford and GM all disclose the presence of EDR systems in vehicle owners' manuals and detail exactly what data is recorded and stored by them. What type of data does the EDR collect?
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AC Privacy Black Boxes CNN - 1 Your car, the black box and...

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