"Black boxes" in vehicles that drivers may not even know about.Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - "Black boxes" in vehicles have been around for a while but right now, a lot of drivers don't even know they have one in their car.
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - "Black boxes" in vehicles have been around for a while but right now, a lot of drivers don't even know they have one in their car.
From speed to crash details the device, also called Event Data Recorders, track personal driving information.
Right now a lot of the newer cars in this parking lot may have an event data recorder.
And if you did not specifically ask the dealer before you made the vehicle purchase, you may not even realize it.
Right now we're on a fast track when it comes to technology.
Hendrick Bley/NDSU Junior: "Everything is tracked, everything I do"
Different tech platforms recording different information, often at the expense of personal privacy...
A concern when it comes to "black boxes"
Now found in about 96 percent of new 2013 vehicles.
Bley: “I wouldn't want to have that device in my car.”
Most are without the driver's knowledge.
Tami Peterson/Moorhead Driver: “To just be there and you don't want it there, no”
This is what it looks like
Event data recorders, or black boxes, likes this one, go into your vehicle and record 45 different things like speed, direction, or even seatbelt usage.
Bley: “I don't want other people to know what I’m doing when I’m driving.”
By the end of next year, proposed federal rules would require all new vehicles to have them, meaning location, travel habits, steering and brakes - It's all tracked.
And right now it's unclear who can access it – whether that is insurance agents, lawyers or advertisers.
Sen. John Hoeven/(R) North Dakota: “This device records a lot of information about you and your vehicle and that information needs to be protected.”
So Senators John Hoeven and Amy Klobuchar are introducing new federal legislation called the Driver Privacy Act. Making the person behind the wheel, the owner of all information collected.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar/(D) Minnesota: “We think it could be endless, who could potentially access this information.”
Peterson: “No. I don't think everybody should know what everyone else is doing all the time.”
Black box information is useful from a safety standpoint, when it comes to things like accident reconstruction, crash details and traffic research.
Under the proposed federal law, the information could still be accessed for those reasons.
Right now 14 states have driver privacy laws; North Dakota is one of them. Minnesota is not.