13 April, 2005

Black Box Privacy

Scoff all you want at North Dakota, at least the politicians there care about privacy:

Legislation aimed at informing automobile buyers of the presence of "black box" recorders in new vehicles has cleared the North Dakota state legislature and is headed for the signature of Governor John Hoeven. The final conference report was adopted by the House yesterday 87-3 and was passed in the House on April 8 by a 42-0 vote.

The legislation essentially gives ownership of the data recorded by the black box to the vehicle owner. Black boxes can disclose whether the owner was wearing a seat belt, vehicle speed and other data. The measure requires a court order before any of that information can be used in court and prohibits insurance companies from requiring access to the black box as a condition for obtaining insurance coverage. North Dakota Republican State Senator Ray Holmberg introduced the measure after learning that the devices were being placed in vehicles without notice.

Sure, you might be cold most of the year. And not really near anything particularly interesting. But at least your black box data is safe!

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