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Lawmakers Try To Block Black Box Technology In Cars, DVR Tracking

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the will-you-stop-following-me dept.

United States 167

Lucas123 writes "Lawmakers this week filed bipartisan legislation that would give car owners control over data collected in black box-style recorders that may be required in all models as soon as next year. The move follows a separate proposal made earlier this month that would limit telecommunications companies in tracking viewer activity with new digital video recorders (DVR) technology. The 'Black Box Privacy Protection Act' would give vehicle owners more control over the information collected through a car or motorcycle event data recorders, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed be required in all new cars as of 2014. 'For me, this is a basic issue of privacy,' said Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA). 'Many consumers aren't even aware that this technology is already in most vehicles.' The second, more colorfully titled piece of legislation, is the 'We Are Watching You Act'. The bill was filed in response to reports that national telecommunications companies are exploring technology for DVRs that would record the personal activities of people as they watch television at home in order to target them for marketing and advertising. If implemented, among other things, when the recording device is in use, the words 'WE ARE WATCHING YOU' would appear on the television screen. 'This may sound preposterous, but it is neither a joke nor an exaggeration,' Capuano said. 'These DVRs would essentially observe consumers as they watch television as a way to super-target ads. It is an incredible invasion of privacy.'"

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I wouldn't mind it if... (5, Interesting)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#44065867)

Actually I wouldn't mind having a black box in the car recording everything... IF I have access to the data. I've contemplated wiring up cameras and building a small server to continuously record front and rear views, so if there's an accident or something and there's questions about what happened I can pull up the video and say "Here, watch what happened.". Having had friends who've been dinged for rear-ending someone because they got rear-ended and shoved forward, I think it'd be wonderful to be able to pull up the black box record and prove that I was stationary with the engine at idle and the brake fully applied when the collision occurred and could not have been the cause.

What I object to isn't the black box itself. It's having that black box there and not having any access to it or control over or even knowledge of who's pulling the data from it and when.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (5, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44065955)

Dashboard cams are very common in Russia. That's why so many people got good shots of the meteorites. Apparently the cams are useful when dealing with some of the local LEO's.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (4, Interesting)

sribe (304414) | about a year ago | (#44066069)

Actually I wouldn't mind having a black box in the car recording everything... IF I have access to the data. I've contemplated wiring up cameras and building a small server to continuously record front and rear views, so if there's an accident or something and there's questions about what happened I can pull up the video and say "Here, watch what happened.". Having had friends who've been dinged for rear-ending someone because they got rear-ended and shoved forward, I think it'd be wonderful to be able to pull up the black box record and prove that I was stationary with the engine at idle and the brake fully applied when the collision occurred and could not have been the cause.

Exactly this. 3 years ago the wife was the middle car of 3 sitting stopped at a light. A 4th car rear-ended the car behind her hard enough to shove them all together and push the front car through the crosswalk. 3 years of constant pain, spinal surgery, physical therapy, countless outpatient procedures, cognitive therapy, and because the damages to the cars were not major, the at-fault driver's insurance company has maintained that she could not possibly have been injured in that accident. The latest is their bullshit engineering analysis, claiming that the at-fault driver was going 3-4 miles per hour--to me that is so obviously an impossible conclusion that I'm astounded that a licensed engineer would put his name to it--I just hope their lawyer is not able to baffle a jury into believing such a steaming pile. Responding police officer did not remotely do her job, and damn I wish the at-fault car would have had a black-box data recorder, and that the data from it would have been captured at that time.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066083)

Why does it have to record everything? a twenty seconds before crash style recorder should be more than sufficient when investigating crashes.

Anything more and it becomes a question of the Insurance cartel wanting to be big brother.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (0)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#44066199)

Sure, it'd be nice to only record the accident, but how will it know when to start?

If it could detect an accident 20 seconds in the future, why not warn me so that I don't get into the accident to begin with?
You'll have to record everything since you never know when someone might T-Bone you at an intersection.

I guess you could setup some ranged motion sensor to only record when there is movement within 100ft, but that'd be quite a bit more complex, than just a HDD that you could have wipe week old video.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (2)

Absolutely.Geek (2913529) | about a year ago | (#44066265)

Yes you record everything on a 10 minute loop, you stop the recording 30 s after an accident occurs. That way you only ever have 10 minutes of data but you capture all accidents. SImple solution to the issue.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (0)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#44066311)

Except it's not an issue to begin with.

OH NOES! I recorded a whole day of footage, even at 1080p resolution that won't hardly fill even lower end HDDs.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066443)

Who said the issue was space?

I'd like a 2 minute loop type recorder to ensure my PRIVACY. I see no reason why I would want multiple hours of my driving and find no justification for anyone to have that info from my recorder either.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (0)

crontabminusell (995652) | about a year ago | (#44066643)

Yes you record everything on a 10 minute loop, you stop the recording 30 s after an accident occurs. That way you only ever have 10 minutes of data but you capture all accidents. SImple solution to the issue.

How about you record... nothing? My privacy is worth more to me than some insurance company's agenda. Of course they want to have all the best data, it makes their actuarial tables that much more precise. Then they'll know *exactly* who to insure and who not to insure (or do so at a predatory rate). And it wouldn't be an issue at all if the insurance companies weren't so damned greedy that they thought they could get away with this. (though frankly one of the few reasons the politicians are trying to block it is probably because they wouldn't have a way around the cameras)

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44066441)

Most EDRs already in US cars only record 30 seconds.

They know when to start (or when to stop, depending on model) the same way they know
when to deploy airbags.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#44066533)

Usually they record in a loop. Say they have space for 2 hours of video. They record continuously, run out of space and then start overwriting the oldest data.
If you have an accident you stop it and you instantly have the relevant footage from before the accident plus the aftermath after the accident.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066703)

As opposed to any aftermath before the accident, thanks for clearing that up.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (2)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#44066085)

If users had write access to the black-box, then trust in it wouldn't exist, thus defeating the point of the black-box itself. You can make-up any data and put it in there, including fake video footage.

At the very least, the user should not have write-access to black-box data. That data should be trustworthy and signed with certificates.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44066129)

If users had write access to the black-box, then trust in it wouldn't exist, thus defeating the point of the black-box itself. You can make-up any data and put it in there, including fake video footage.

By that reasoning almost all video and photos should not be allowed as evidence. How easy do you think it is to fake video of your car getting hit? Any video or photo is much better than the fabled eyewitness testimony, which has been shown to be incredibly unreliable, even if the witness has no vested interest in the outcome.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#44066537)

If everyone had it then there would be more than 1 black box. Usually a minimum of two and sometimes a lot more.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066155)

The problem is that the certificates would just be hacked first then they can then inject their own footage and resign it as genuine.

Firmware updates are inherently more secure, because the private signing keys will be kept on a remote server.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (2)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#44066253)

You wouldn't want write access. From my standpoint I want the legal presumption that the data's valid to be as unchallengeable as I can arrange it. If I don't have write access, I can't be accused of having altered the data. Note: the box doesn't have to be tamperproof, it merely has to be not immediately alterable by me. One of the advantages of these laws is that they grant the legal presumption of validity to the black box and the burden's on the cops or the insurance company to prove it was tampered with if they don't agree with what it's saying. And depending on the exact wording it may not even matter if they can prove it was tampered with (see first-class mail for legal documents for an example of an all-but-unrebuttable presumption).

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (5, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44066145)

Actually I wouldn't mind having a black box in the car recording everything... IF I have access to the data.

Here's the argument, access vs control. I'm all for black boxes in cars too (I've already installed a dash cam in my car) but I would also require access to the data.

That being said, I highly doubt that these things will be tamper proof in the slightest (manufacturers will simply pick the cheapest possible way to comply with the law). Black boxes will be easily hacked so it's a bit of moot point for people who are bad drivers and dont want the proof hanging around (however for good drivers, it does help clear them of fault in an accident).

I've contemplated wiring up cameras and building a small server to continuously record front and rear views, so if there's an accident or something and there's questions about what happened I can pull up the video and say "Here, watch what happened."

Most cars already have these sensors available through an ODBII interface, you can get bluetooth ODB connectors off Ebay for $15 and a free application called Torque on Android can read it (IIRC, for full logging you need the full application) so if you want a black box it can be set up with a cheap Android tablet and a dash cam. You could probably even use the Android device as a dash cam (although I haven't seen a mobile device with decent enough video quality to replace my 1080p 30 FPS camera). I've got mine hooked up to my phone, great for diagnosing problems and improving my driving style.

However dash cam and logging devices are double edged swords. Along with proving you're not at fault, they can also prove you did something wrong and many people in my experience dont know when they're doing something wrong.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44066545)

With Event Data recorders, you don't have to prevent hacking, or erasure. You just have to be able to detect that it occurred.
There is no problem letting people read out the contents, or displaying on screen in cars that have screens.

You are correct about the double edged sword issue.
If the police and attorneys get to trawl your entire Cams recording (as they certainly will in discovery), some of which can be very long, they will almost certainly be able to find something you did wrong. Since drivers make more than 200 decisions during every mile traveled, it shouldn't be too hard ever for the most careful driver to exhibit some trivial faults. The lawyers can data mine these incidents, 5mph over here, unsignaled lane change there, a lane drift on a totally empty road, and put you in the light of a careless driver, and claim that an attentive and defensive driver might have avoided the accident.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44066641)

With Event Data recorders, you don't have to prevent hacking, or erasure. You just have to be able to detect that it occurred.

There in lies the problem, it's entirely possible to prevent that from being logged.

Seeing as you have physical access to the hardware it would not be difficult at all. At worst it would be a wholesale replacement of the part with a pre-modified version. But it's far more likely that you'll just have to re-flash the firmware.

Not that I'd advocate this, but I have to face the reality it will happen.

The lawyers can data mine these incidents, 5mph over here, unsignaled lane change there, a lane drift on a totally empty road, and put you in the light of a careless driver, and claim that an attentive and defensive driver might have avoided the accident.

This is why the law is very specific about fault (at least in my country). The road code is a 400 page document, if you printed it out you could use it for self defence.

Even if you were in violation of one of the more minor road rules, you can still be ruled to be not at fault. I.E. if you were changing lanes at a traffic light (illegal where I live) and someone runs a red and T-Bones you, there was nothing you could do to avoid that accident. Also whilst the events leading up to an accident are taken into account there is a limit of what can be used (I.E. if someone overtakes you and immediately brakes, forcing you to rear-end him, you will be considered not at fault because the other driver acted in an unsafe manner to put you in that position. However an unsignaled lane change 2 minutes previous would not matter as it did not contribute to the event).

BTW, an unsignaled lane change is the sign of a careless driver, it really should be muscle memory and you shouldn't have to think about it. Failing to do so every now and then is forgivable, but consistently forgetting is the sign of a bad driver. Drifting out of your lane unforgivable, regardless of how full or empty the road is. Anyone who has a history of forgetting to indicate or have trouble staying in their lane is bad driver.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#44066715)

That is something I don't get. why don't car manufacturers give us mroe data than a stupid warning light?

Sure leaving the warning light on the dash, but why not use the radio, navagation display, etc to display more detailed and less obscure data? Oh sure the warning light is becuase a cap is not on tight, no problem. or a sensor is going off I better not wait and rush to the mechanic faster so that it can be fixed.

The car companies have the data right fucking there, but they don't want to expose it any way without thousands of dollars worth of gear. Gear that they don't really support after 20-30 years.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (2)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44067051)

That is something I don't get. why don't car manufacturers give us mroe data than a stupid warning light?

Because the average driver can barely remember to indicate, let alone decipher complex instructions like "Change the oil now, dipstick".

Unfortunately car designers have to consider the stupidest users when designing things. Also, the sensors cant always tell whats going on, I.E. fluid pressure could be falling because a cap is loose or because there is a hole in the line somewhere. You'll need to do some diagnostics on your own to do this, unfortunately most people dont know how to check their oil, let alone how to see if there is a leak somewhere.

The car companies have the data right fucking there,

You want access to the data, that's great, I can suggest getting an ODBII device to read the codes. Many car manufacturers will output error codes over ODB, I've got a $15 bluetooth ODB connector and Torque (on Android), with my Honda they're easy enough to figure out (Google is your friend, codes on my Honda were quickly found).

But diagnosing car problems still requires some knowledge on the matter.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about a year ago | (#44067123)

Or you can just use a cheap ($20) OBDII sensor reader. My stinger one works great and came with all the adapters for older and newer cars. The plug is usually next to the steering column.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#44067315)

I used to have a VW and its oil gauge was fake! it did have a meter and a needle but it always moved to the center to show 'things are ok!'.

it turns out that its an idiot light in the form of a gauge! if the oil pressure goes too low, the meter needle will show it on one extreme but its still just a binary readout in the form of an 'analog' gauge.

what a scam! you think you read the pressure but its just a go/noGo indicator. those bastards.

so, if they have a real meter but use it as an on/off indicator, it makes you think that they don't want to show the driver any real data at all.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

fafalone (633739) | about a year ago | (#44066829)

That being said, I highly doubt that these things will be tamper proof in the slightest (manufacturers will simply pick the cheapest possible way to comply with the law). Black boxes will be easily hacked so it's a bit of moot point for people who are bad drivers and dont want the proof hanging around (however for good drivers, it does help clear them of fault in an accident).

Because everyone would have the knowledge and skills to do it? The world isn't like /. - only a tiny minority of the general population would be able to do it, just like with the many other things that are so easy to us; we lose sight of what normal people are actually like.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44067067)

That being said, I highly doubt that these things will be tamper proof in the slightest (manufacturers will simply pick the cheapest possible way to comply with the law). Black boxes will be easily hacked so it's a bit of moot point for people who are bad drivers and dont want the proof hanging around (however for good drivers, it does help clear them of fault in an accident).

Because everyone would have the knowledge and skills to do it?

Because no-one would offer such services to these people.

Do you think the average street racer knows how to flash an ECU and change the boost on their turbo? Hell no, they pay someone who does.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (2)

Derekloffin (741455) | about a year ago | (#44066289)

Just to be a bit silly: Actually, you'd still be a contributing factor to the rear-ender. If you are close enough that a low speed collision pushed you ahead into the car ahead of you, you are too close. If you are speaking of a high speed collision, then I'm pretty sure the damage to the rear of your vehicle would speak just as well to the point that it wasn't your fault.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066497)

Not silly at all. This is a case of either:
a) someone stopped too close, left their car in neutral and didn't engage the brake as they ought, or
b) a very high-speed collision, which would cause much more litigation.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about a year ago | (#44067033)

Just to be a bit silly: Actually, you'd still be a contributing factor to the rear-ender. If you are close enough that a low speed collision pushed you ahead into the car ahead of you, you are too close.

This isn't "silly" at all. Many official state drivers manuals and driver training programs advise you to leave a gap of a few feet or maybe half a car length in front of you when stopping. It not only prevents "chain reaction" collisions, but also provides maneuvering space if some other situation occurs (car in front stalls or is disabled, emergency vehicle needs to get through, etc.).

Despite how common this practice is, stopping only a few inches behind the guy in front is an unsafe driving practice, and if it causes you to collide with that car, you are at fault.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

Gwarsbane (905113) | about a year ago | (#44066291)

Dashboard cam with GPS. You can get off of ebay for anywhere between 50 to 200 bucks. They can record hours and hours of video onto an SD card. Many can do continuous recording, 5, 10, 15 or more minute loops.

If they have GPS on them, they can display speed and other info on screen. Some are better at night recording then others. They can even be setup to turn on when the car starts up.

Do research on the ones you are considering so you know the ups and downs of each one.

So no need to connect up to the black box.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44066407)

If you look in your car manual for any late model vehicle you will find that what you asked for is already there.
Its usually a very small bit of info, 30 seconds or less.

My car's manual says this:

Event Data Recorder (EDR)
This vehicle is equipped with an event data recorder
(EDR). The main purpose of an EDR is to record, in
certain crash or near crash-like situations, such as an air
bag deployment or hitting a road obstacle, data that will
assist in understanding how a vehicle’s systems performed.
The EDR is designed to record data related to
vehicle dynamics and safety systems for a short period of
time, typically 30 seconds or less.

The EDR in this vehicle
is designed to record such data as:
How various systems in your vehicle were operating;
Whether or not the driver and passenger safety belts
were buckled/fastened;
How far (if at all) the driver was depressing the
accelerator and/or brake pedal; and,
How fast the vehicle was traveling.
These data can help provide a better understanding of
the circumstances in which crashes and injuries occur.

NOTE:EDR data are recorded by your vehicle only if a
non-trivial crash situation occurs; no data are recorded by
the EDR under normal driving conditions and no personal data (e.g., name, gender, age, and crash location)
are recorded. However, other parties, such as law enforcement, could combine the EDR data with the type of
personally identifying data routinely acquired during a
crash investigation.

To read data recorded by an EDR, special equipment is
required
, and access to the vehicle or the EDR is needed.
In addition to the vehicle manufacturer, other parties,
such as law enforcement, that have the special equipment, can read the information if they have access to the
vehicle or the EDR.

I see no problem with this type of info, because by the time an airbag deploys its already a matter of public safety and police are usually involved.

Yes there is probably enough info in there to convict you. If you were accelerating at 55mph in a 25mph school zone when you ran over little Billy, you can expect your car to testify against you.

I see no reason this information shouldn't be available to the owner without the need of special equipment, as long as the car was still able to power the recorder and provide readout somehow. I suspect the requirement for special equipment may be technical (how to power the device on enough to read it) and also legal, to prevent people from clearing the EDR after running over little Billy.

But it would be nice to know what is in there. Especially when buying a used car.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year ago | (#44066451)

I'd rather the damn thing only retain the last 30 seconds before a collision. This way, if someone rear-ends up, pushing you forward into the car in front, it's recorded. Don't need camera's for that. The sensors already there.

The main issue as you said is the lack of tranparency as to what's being recorded and who in hell has access to that data. Things like GPS and speed are just two of the things I'm concerned with as the insurance company will ding you drastically for going with the flow of traffic even when that flow is safest. As an example, how many folks drive the speed limit on our freeways in the United States? Most people easily push 5-10mph over if not more just to stay with the others. Hell try merging onto the freeway in the L.A. Basin at other then rush hour and you damn well better be able to hit 55 by the time you're at the end of the on-ramp, otherwise someone is going to climb your ass and probably it'll be some damn idiot behind the wheel of a semi making less then minimum.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#44066947)

I've contemplated wiring up cameras and building a small server to continuously record front and rear views

Welcome to 5 years ago. Today you can buy car DVR with 2 cameras at under $100.

Re:I wouldn't mind it if... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year ago | (#44067025)

Umm. If your car was rear ended that hard, then there is already far more graphic and undeniable proof that it was not use. Specifically, your wretched rear bumper and the wrecked car behind you.

Try? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44065871)

I thought they were the lawmakers. Pure window dressing.

obligatory Yakov Smirnoff quote (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44065873)

"In America, you watch Television.
"In Soviet Russia, television watches YOU!!"''

Re:obligatory Yakov Smirnoff quote (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44065963)

"In America, you watch Television.
"In Soviet Russia, television watches YOU!!"''

This time you've got it backwards.

black boxes (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44065881)

Yeah, I got a primitive one in my own car. I just opened it up and wired the nvram reset to the ignition. Whenever the car turns off, it fires the reset. It's an amnesiac vehicle now. Of course, not everyone knows how to do this, but hey.

Re:black boxes (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#44065909)

"Welcome to Ford SYNC, powered by...uh...what's that company with the sexy geek and the chair monkey again?"

Re:black boxes (1)

Outtascope (972222) | about a year ago | (#44065941)

I agree with the sentiment, but you are probably screwing your gas mileage and potentially your engine life. Just sayin'.

Re:black boxes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066519)

That's not how this black box works...

Re:black boxes (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066037)

Why are you a hacker that hates America? Also you're a leech to society like Insurance agencies are trying to call you a rate sucker.

The propaganda against this becoming common place is already being established.

Re:touchscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066089)

I tried to hit troll but it grabbed flamebait, damnit.

Re:touchscreen (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about a year ago | (#44066263)

Trolls are always trying to light a fire so either is appropriate.

Re:touchscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066487)

neither is appropriate for a sarcastic post mistakenly taken literally.

Re:black boxes (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#44067431)

You do realize that black box is your best friend if you have an accident when you're not at fault? An idiot running after you can cost you tens of thousands in medical expense after medical expenses and his insurance pays out (happened to a family member) - I shudder to think of what it would cost if the first cop on the scene believed the other guy's lie, and you had no hard data.

Today's black boxes only record 30 seconds of info anyhow. That info will be subpoenaed if someone dies in a crash. The court might not believe your story of destroying the evidence before the court requested it. You're really not doing yourself any favors here.
 

Re:black boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44067497)

You do realize that if he wired it to his ignition.

Think about it.

I'll wait.

There's always the after market for... (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44065885)

Programming/reprogramming these things.

Judge: Officer Friday, could you please repeat that, I'm not sure I heard it right.

Friday: Yes, your honor. It appears on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013, the suspect's car was orbiting Europa, in clear violation of the directive to leave this one moon alone.

Re:There's always the after market for... (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44066151)

There already is an after market for re-programming ECU's.

I doubt these boxes will be tamper proof in the slightest, car manufactures have a long history of picking the cheapest possible way to comply with legal requirements and as always, if you have physical access to a system it's already compromised.

Re:There's always the after market for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066455)

The Event Data Recorder could be logically or physically separate from the Engine Control Unit that you're talking about with that kind of aftermarket support.

Re:There's always the after market for... (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44066499)

The Event Data Recorder could be logically or physically separate from the Engine Control Unit that you're talking about with that kind of aftermarket support.

And I'm sure it will be separated (but still connected as it needs to get data from the ECU, things like the CAN bus already facilitate this), I was merely using the ECU as an example of how after-market programming has already taken root in the automotive sector.

In the worst case scenario, a EDR (back box) will need to be hardwired, but chances are they'll use off the shelf components so like the ECU, it'll just need to be re-flashed with an aftermarket ROM.

Re:There's always the after market for... (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#44066645)

Orbiting, hell!? Have you even SEEN the place!? YOU CAN SEE THE RUTS FROM SPACE!

Damned kids, tell em to stay away from developing ecosystems, and what do they do? Go muddin', that's what!

(/joke)

Re:There's always the after market for... (1)

preflex (1840068) | about a year ago | (#44066825)

It's perfectly okay to orbit Europa, as long as you attempt no landings there.

I wonder... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44065897)

when will americans well... complain about something? When they pass a law saying that your first born daughter must lose her virginity at age 7 to the president?

I don't know... I haven't been in the US for over 15 years now, but this bullshit I read... It makes you people look like meekest lot out there. And then I read comments about americans laughing at the chaos in brazil. You people should be doing that 24/7, instead of clapping, laughing, stuffing your faces and then changing the channel for more wrasslin

Re:I wonder... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44066027)

When it threatens to help people that are too lazy to be rich.

Telescreen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44065903)

Big Brother is watching you

Lawmaker's Best Interests (1)

ThisIsNotAName (2880693) | about a year ago | (#44065951)

I think the car one will go through easily. I doubt any of them want it to come out how frequently their drivers greatly exceed the speed limits or for black boxes to capture any of the drunken shenanigans they'd otherwise get away with.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2004/05/10/Newspaper-finds-Pa-Gov-Rendell-speeding/UPI-17641084237859/ [upi.com]

Too Much Monitorring (0)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year ago | (#44065979)

It seems like law makers keep wanting to find ways to monitor everything we do. Getting a little annoying...what will it take to make them stop?

Topol, the Smoker's Tooth Polish. Take the hint. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44065989)

I agree the DVR thing is bad, but remember they just wanna know if you might want to buy Depends.

Government spying is historically misused to spy on opposition, and is an actual, serious issue.

Re:Topol, the Smoker's Tooth Polish. Take the hint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066185)

Government spying is historically misused to spy on opposition, and is an actual, serious issue.

True only in the sense that "spying" is simply data collection that has been deemed by someone to be a "misuse". Are records of birth, residency, employment, income and travel "spying"? If you live under a government that you oppose, then likely yes. Most Americans don't consider birth certificates, tax records and passports to be "Big Brother". Soviet Bloc residents in the 80's probably had a different perspective.

The difference is that Soviet Bloc regimes were felt to be an oppressive regime by most of their residents, while most Americans do not feel that the United States is oppressing them. In fact, the United States is not using all of this alleged "spying" to oppress Americans, other than those with active imaginations and a predilection for "slippery slope" fallacies.

The US in 2013 is not the Soviet Bloc in 1980. It just ain't no matter how loudly people whine about it. More importantly, it is not like any pre-Soviet society. Whether it ever will be, IMO, does not correlate to what the NSA knows about you. "Spying" correlates to oppression, but it does not cause oppression.

Re:Topol, the Smoker's Tooth Polish. Take the hint (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44066783)

Spying *is* oppression.Think about it.

What does it matter? (1)

ewibble (1655195) | about a year ago | (#44065997)

They will take the data anyway, all in the public interest of course. They just won't tell you, until it is leaked.

Xbox One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066011)

Can they extend that "We are watching you" requirement to include the new Xbox? Pretty please?

Re:Xbox One (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44066831)

Why don't you put down your XBox and your Cheetos and come outside to play? It's already looking to be a nice day out here.

*puts phone back in pocket, resumes watching deer graze about 10m away*

Ironic, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066039)

Wasn't it Congress that mandated that cars have these black boxes in the first place?

only the government can watch you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066049)

What a bunch of hypocrites

Most driving is done in publc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066055)

As such, there is no expectation of privacy when driving. It is legal for anyone, LEO or not, to record your behavior.

I am all for the maintenance of actual privacy, but labeling every recording technology as a privacy invasion is couter-productive. See the tale of the The Wolf Who Cried "That Boy Is Watching Me".

Keep harping at this crap and the average person, you know, who has better things to do, is going to tune you out.

There aren't enough faces or palms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066149)

A DVR that records the user??

Let 'em try it. The first time they accidentally record some kid getting changed in their bedroom they can all get arrested as pedophiles.

orwell was right... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about a year ago | (#44066183)

,,,but he got one thing wrong. its not the government who is watching us its corporate America.

im not sure it that's an improvement or not.

Re:orwell was right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066259)

There really are only two choices, at least in a modern post-industrial society ... you're either a slave to the corporations, or you're a slave to the state. Pick one.
Neither is objectively 'better' or 'worse' than the other, they differ only in the details of how they enslave you, and to what ends.

Re: orwell was right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066463)

Or you can work for a defense contractor and get both.

Re:orwell was right... (3, Insightful)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#44067389)

Post-industrial society? When's that coming?
Do an inventory of the goods sitting around your house. Clothing, hand-stitched by child labor in buildings prone to deadly fires and collapse. Produce, picked by migrant workers, stooped over in fields for 12 hours a day, and frequently deported instead of being paid. Power from coal, via mountaintop removal in the Appalachian coal and lead belt, where cancer rates are 80% above national average, and ubiquitous heavy metal poisoning stunts the physical and mental growth of children. Post-industrial, my ass. You go to the store and see everything neatly packaged in pristine plastic --- just propaganda covering the massive amount of blood, sweat, and tears providing your comforts. A little neocolonialism and a lot of ignorance: we haven't moved past industrial society; just shuffled it out of sight, where working conditions can regress ever further back towards the horrors we once ran from.

Re:orwell was right... (1)

Bugler412 (2610815) | about a year ago | (#44066775)

just the government collecting data by proxy, just one secret court order away from retrieving your "business records"

RE: We Are Watching You Act' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066187)

These DVRs would essentially observe consumers as they watch television as a way to super-target ads. It is an incredible invasion of privacy.'"

This is what the Kinect and Xbox One do when you watch Television. Targeted advertising is probably a huge revenue stream for Microsoft.

They have a younger demographic of people with disposable income to count on. They could put targeted ads in video games, or send flyers and emails to you from advertisers, since they have your email address. They know when you're home, who's watching what and when.

Re: We Are Watching You Act' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44067181)

Since the powers that be have already crafted all sorts of copyright law with really stiff penalties, the stage is set to allow someone to violate their law by pressing the "record" button, then automatically inform the authorities a violation of copyright law is in progress along with an address and name to send the collection notice to.

Actions speak louder... (1)

Bugler412 (2610815) | about a year ago | (#44066211)

They already violate long existing basic laws in dramatic fashion (4th amendment much?) I see this as just symbolic pandering when a single secret order from a secret court that can't be challenged because you aren't allowed to talk about it is all it takes to override even the most fundamental laws we have. Actions speak louder than words.

STOP IT! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066313)

Oh for FSM's sake, please let the xxxxx much? meme die. It is horrible grammar and makes you sound dumb. You cannot put a noun with much and make a complete sentence. It has to be a verb-- Lie much? Jack off much? 4th Amendment is not a verb. "4th Amendment much?" is not a fucking sentence. Technically something like "Lie much?" isn't sentence either. There is a "Do you" that is implied and I hate implied stuff too.

Whine much? YES I DO!

Re:STOP IT! (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44066973)

You give me hope for the future. Thank you.

Re:STOP IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44067499)

Butthurt much?

poignant legislation (2)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44066223)

im certain blocking black box technology in cars has nothing to do with, say, the potential to correct a politicians statements after the fact [yahoo.com]

Mod up! (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about a year ago | (#44066329)

Though they aren't trying to ban them, merely give you control over the data, the effect is the same. You saw what they did there and if I had mod points I'd give you one!

Double Standards Much? (1)

Edis Krad (1003934) | about a year ago | (#44066239)

So when the government tracks your every move without your knowledge or consent, that's okay. When private companies do it letting you know beforehand in a written contract, that's very very wrong.

brb.. ears bleeding...

Can someone explain to me why this matters? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#44066255)

I keep hearing about how important my privacy is, but next to the last 30 years of declining wages it just sorta seems like a drop of piss in the 'ole bucket. I mean, what good is privacy if I'm so poor I'm easily oppressed through economic means? It just seems like we're all ignoring the elephant in the room on stuff like wealth inequality, banking deregulation, workers rights issues, etc... Why does this matter enough that it makes national news for months when the Wisconsin union busting is long forgotten after just a few weeks?

Re:Can someone explain to me why this matters? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#44066267)

Whoops, meant to write, 'Last 30 years of declining wages'. But the next 30 years of declining wages don't look too hot either. Oh, and there was an article in WaPo a few days ago talking about a major shift in wages: employers cutting salaries instead of just waiting for inflation to do the dirty work for 'em. That didn't even make front page. I read about it from Fark, and even then only because it fit the 'old an busted/new hotness' Fark meme the mods love so much.

Re:Can someone explain to me why this matters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066331)

Its not wages that is down, its average income (the distinction is important)
Now think about it for real, why do you think average income is down? We now have 47 million on food stamps that will lose them if their income gets too high. Just as much on Medicaid, with the same restrictions on income.

If you apply yourself, for real, your wages are not declining. If you are looking to not work and live on hand outs you are encouraged to keep your earnings down.

The problems in the USA for income can be fixed nearly overnight. They have tried everything, except what they know will work. Its just easier to control people who are depending on you to give them weekly checks.

Re:Can someone explain to me why this matters? (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44066997)

Radical counterproposal: Why not remove the income-based restrictions instead?

Even better, why not just guarantee everyone a minimum income that's sufficient to cover the basics?

Re:Can someone explain to me why this matters? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#44067073)

Well, that'd be nice. But I can't see any of that happening. We're all terrified about losing our freedom, but our economic freedom is being taking away faster than anything. You can't be free if somebody controls your access to food, shelter and medicine. It's one thing to band together to get more of those things. That's society and that's government. But it's looking more and more like about 20,000 people are going to be the ones that decide who lives and dies, and that that they're not the sort that say: everybody gets to live. Because where's the fun in that?

I'm ok with blackboxes in cars. (1)

Gwarsbane (905113) | about a year ago | (#44066347)

Personally I would rather see only the car company and police be able to access box and only with a physical connection. And of course a warrant.

This way it can't be remotely accessed so no "spying" on you (man some of you are way too paranoid). And it can't be tampered with so no one can accuse you of altering the data.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066471)

The bill was filed in response to reports that national telecommunications companies are exploring technology for DVRs that would record the personal activities of people as they watch television at home in order to target them for marketing and advertising. If implemented, among other things, when the recording device is in use, the words 'WE ARE WATCHING YOU' would appear on the television screen.

Doesn't google do this already? Besides displaying the "WE ARE WATCHING YOU" part of course. I don't think most people really care. I use chrome (always in incognito mode for many reasons, privacy is not a significant one), and each time I launch a new, non-incognito window, it asks me to log in.

Don't get me started about the other social media, like facebook, twitter, and the like. I'm not saying this is good or bad. I personally think its potentially very damning to put your whole life on the net. But many people do it, and have no problems with it. I just know in my life, my attitudes and opinions have changed, and I don't want those attitudes and opinions that I now believe were incorrect, wrong, stupid or immature to be documented for all of my life.

-Anonymous Coward, been on slashdot since Chips-n-dips.

I purpose an amendment to property law (5, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44066543)

Instead of making little piss-ant changes that affect only specific and limited circumstances, let's make a strong amendment to property law as a pile driver through all the non-ownership bullshit that's been plaguing us for the past 15-20 years.

If I am making a purchase as a private person (ie: not a business), whatever I've bought is mine. I own it 100%, it's my goddamn property and I will do whatever I fucking want with it (within written law of course)

No amount of shrinkwrap, ckickwrap, stick-on contracts, implied or non-negotiated "agreements" can change that. Contracts, usage policies and EULAs in which you had no bargaining or direct input are automatically null and void.

Any attempt by a manufacturer or producer to actively restrict, limit or deny my access to my own property, whether it be a needlessly fortified mechanism or an encrypted system to which I'm not provided the key, is met with swift punishment. The process for customers to address their grievances should be streamlined and available to the general public with minimal expense to the individual.

Hey, I can dream of a time when corporations won't be the government's puppet master, can't I?

Tom Tom already selling your GPS data (3, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about a year ago | (#44066605)

""TomTom Australia says it is planning to sell GPS data collected about its customers' journeys to road authorities and private companies even after it was forced to apologise when that same data was used by Dutch authorities to set speed traps. The revelations, revealed in The Australian Financial Review today, have caused outrage among privacy campaigners and lobby groups who believe it is now necessary for electronic devices to come with special stickers saying whether they are going to track your location and be sold to marketers. I'm starting to think that we're going to need to label every electronic item with a special sticker saying whether it's going to track your location and sell it to marketers or not. But TomTom Australia's vice-president of marketing, Chris Kearney, in a phone interview, rejected the privacy concerns and claims that TomTom was "tracking" users. He conceded TomTom was collecting real-time "timestamped GPS data" of users' journeys but said there were no privacy risks because the data was decoupled from the individual users."" http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/cartech/outrage-over-tomtom-speed-traps-for-motorists-20110506-1ebc2.html [smh.com.au]

news to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44066665)

i've heard about this idea where car manufacturers wanted to install black boxes and DVR tracking in vehicles. never did hear much else about the plans. thanks for posting the update.

A good use for goatse (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#44066741)

WE ARE WATCHING YOU
OH DEAR GOD, MAKE IT STOP

Although I'd probably just use a piece of tape.


Shut up, lameness filter. It's a joke, and the caps were a quote from the article.

Angry (5, Insightful)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about a year ago | (#44067007)

It really makes me angry that we as a society have tolerated the creep of this surveillance society for so long like frogs in a pot while the temperature rises to boiling. You can argue that technology made it inevitable, and you're right, it's probably too late now to get the genie back in the bottle. No one knows history. Few people have actually read "1984". There should've been laws against this passed two decades ago, but noooo, it was sold to us as security, and people will fall over themselves to trade freedom for that.

Same folks that legislated IN the black boxes! (1)

silverhalide (584408) | about a year ago | (#44067249)

Congress has REQUIRED black boxes in every vehicle since 1996 with the introduction of OBD-II. In particular, the freeze frame functionality, which captures all the data leading up to an accident. Ugh.

Re:Same folks that legislated IN the black boxes! (1)

networkzombie (921324) | about a year ago | (#44067421)

Does this mean all cars since 1996 have black boxes? I installed a new wiring harness in a 2000 model and there was no black box, unless it is powered by a Mr. Fusion I overlooked.

Privacy is Extinct (1)

ks*nut (985334) | about a year ago | (#44067351)

Americans should have no expectation of privacy. "Step out of line, the man come and take you away." Welcome to The Matrix.

Oh.. Democrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44067461)

I'll try not to be surprised.

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