Not Your Father’s Data Recorder

Friday, June 11, 2010
Posted in category Surveillance State

Reader Brent Petersen points out some of the usual government nonsense from bill H.R. 5345, or, the ‘Consumer Auto Safety Enhancement Act of 2010.’

For the 2012 model year, cars that are due to hit the market in a few months, congress wants an event recorder of specs yet to be determined in every new motor vehicle.

It’s supposed to resist fire and tampering but the standards are yet undefined. It’s supposed to be universally readable by a standard that does not exist yet. It’s supposed to provide data which in some areas many vehicles don’t even have sensors for.

In these difficult economic times congress expects products to incorporate a brand new sub system and have it functional and have it fully tested to work and not interfere with other systems in what ever little time is left between the start production and whenever the secretary of transportation gets around to deciding all the important details.  2012 models can just come out in 2013 instead of 2011 I suppose.

I guess that is what can be expected of a bunch of people who think their power can define reality and have never made a product.

Note what the Act says in Section 2, under the “Findings.”

(4) Requiring the inclusion of event data recorders in new motor vehicles would produce valuable safety benefits that would far outweigh the nominal financial burden on manufacturers.

The Act also states that the owner or lessee of the vehicle owns said data unless a court authorizes retrieval of the data or a government motor vehicle agency wishes to use (take) the data to “improve motor vehicle safety.” In other words, yet another snoop state move with unlimited powers for the purpose of all of our “safety.”

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10 Responses to Not Your Father’s Data Recorder

  1. miles says:

    June 11th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    The ability to disable these boxes might present a commercial opportunity for someone. I have a feeling that most people dont want the government knowing everywhere they drive.

    I imagine the guv’ment will attempt to make the vehicles’ ignitions not work in the future if the boxes are disabled, and this will push people to buy foreign cars, further unemploying Americans, in which the guv’ment will extend unemployment benefits even further by printing more money which will inflate the money supply and cheapen the dollars in your pocket even more, which will necessitate us going hat-in-hand to the Chinese for even more T-bill purchases by them, which eventually will lead to even more concessions in international trade considerations vis-a-vis the Chicoms, which leads to………………….. It never ends does it? It would be so much easier to follow the “libertarian solution” on this issue, wouldn’t it? The FBI can get warrants to snoop on whom they need to snoop on. We all dont need to be snooped on. Things like this make me wish there was a truly *free* nation somewhere on this earth to immigrate to. Im afraid however, that place doesnt exist and we are pretty much stuck here, with a adolescent-police-state that wants to grow into a big-daddy-police-state.

  2. liberranter says:

    June 11th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Just as I refuse to install or purchase a car that has a pre-installed GPS, I will similarly refuse to operate any vehicle that contains any form of embedded data recorder. While the claim will no doubt be made that such a device is the equivalent of enabling an auditing feature on your PC or your web/data servers, the difference is that information system audit data is actually useful TO THE SYSTEM OWNER/ADMINISTRATOR in identifying potential/actual malicious users or performance parameters. An automotive “event recorder,” on the other hand, is, as Karen points out, nothing but another surveillance tool for the state to spy on its subjects.

    As far as the description in the first two paragraphs of the quoted article (the “requirements without any identified or codified underlying standards” bit), I can tell you from experience that that’s par for the course for ANY government program.

    Should this boondoggle monstrosity become a mandatory standard in future new vehicles, the first order of business is to disable it.

  3. M. Terry says:

    June 12th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Looks like there will be business opportunities for some computer experts in the future. Kits to disable this nanny-state privacy killer will likely be big sellers.

    Of course the manufacturers will state that disabling this device will void the warranty.

    That will probably cause a surge in used car sales and other unintended consequences.

    The device will probably also be linked to local law enforcement agencies, who will issue speeding tickets based upon the speed reported by the device. Customers will just love that.

  4. Michael says:

    June 13th, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Yup. Another incentive for me to continue driving my 2004 Honda Civic until it hits a million miles. Sure, I’d love to get a newer car, but not if the government continues to boss manufacturers into installing “snooping devices”.

    @M. Terry:
    I think we’ll likely see something like a swappable ECU for these cars. In other words, you can probably take out the “snooping machine” and if the car needs to go into service, inspection, etc., the original box could be reinstalled. At least, that’s how I envision it.

  5. John says:

    June 14th, 2010 at 1:06 am

    At the very least we can rest assured that such a device would exist in corporeal form and be susceptible to removal by physical means. As long as this is the case, they cannot win. Cheers!

  6. quints says:

    June 15th, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Hey, they are just keeping you free. We all like that, right?

  7. BrianT says:

    June 16th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Of course the worst statement there is “(4) Requiring the inclusion of event data recorders in new motor vehicles would produce valuable safety benefits that would far outweigh the nominal financial burden on manufacturers.”

    There IS NO “financial burden” on the manufacturers. The cost will merely be passed-on to the buyer. It’s another indirect tax on us to fund their latest social-engineering scheme.

  8. Edwin says:

    June 19th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Another indication of the bureaucratic thought process – under “findings” it mentions the “nominal financial burden on manufacturers.” Well, who in the hell do they think is ultimately going to be paying for that anyway? Did it ever occur to them that it would be the person buying the car?

    I expect the people who read “2600″ magazine ( will be all over this if it ever actually gets implemented. People will probably be figuring a way to load false data into it, who knows what. It would probably be real interesting.

  9. BrutalRegime says:

    June 21st, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    “the nominal financial burden on manufacturers.”

    Ha! As if it’s going to be the manufacturers who pay for this…

  10. Michael says:

    June 25th, 2010 at 9:34 am

    The costs aside, the real reasons for the integration of the data recorder has pretty Orwellian purposes; It will simply be used as another means for the State to keep an eye on its serfs.

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