A bipartisan group of United States Senators has revealed the “Driver Privacy Act”, which is supposed to put you back in charge of your black-box data in your car. But how effective will that legislation be?
The bill is sponsored by John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Cosponsors of the bill include Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Angus King (I-Maine), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Michael Bennet (D-Col.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Mazie Hirano (D-Hawaii) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Quoth Senator Hoeven,
To address privacy concerns regarding the device, the Hoeven-Klobuchar legislation specifies that data from an EDR may not be retrieved in any state unless:
- Authorized by a court of law
- The vehicle owner or lessee consents to the data retrieval
- The information is retrieved pursuant to a NHTSA recall and all personally identifiable information is not disclosed
- The information is retrieved in determining the need for emergency medical response following a motor vehicle crash (used in vehicles equipped with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification systems)
- The information is retrieved for traffic safety research
Oh man, I was all excited there except for that first one about “authorized by a court of law”. Talk about a loophole big enough to drive an F-750 dump truck through. It would be one thing if we lived in the world of the Dirty Harry movies where activist hippie pinko judges were always letting serial killers go because Harry Callahan transposed the date of birth of a witness to the crime or something like that.
CALLAHAN: Your honor, I have this scumbag on video bragging about how he killed those women.
PINKO JUDGE: I don’t see you reading him his Miranda rights twice on that video.
CALLAHAN: It’s earlier in the tape — rewinds — right there, you can hear me Mirandize him right after he and his attorney signed the statement saying he did the crime and he walked us to the crime scenes to point out how he did it.
PINKO JUDGE: (thinks for a moment) Welll, Officer Callahan, your VHS videotapes might fly in another courtroom, but here we use Betamax. I’m hereby dropping all charges against — what did you say your name was?
THE SAN FRANCISCO RAPE-STRANGLER: The San Francisco Rape-Strangler, Your Honor.
PINKO JUDGE: Yes, yes the San Francisco Rape-Strangler. Mr. Rape-Strangler, accept the apologies of the court, and the home address of that stenographer you’ve been drooling over.
But modern judges in the United States of American Homeland Security are more like the judges in that movie “Brazil” who are ready to consent to rectal searches of persons to be named later. So I’m not sanguine about the protection of any bill that specifically allows for the court to circumvent it. But we’ll see. This is a good first start. If you agree, contact your legislator.