It’s bad enough that there are so many things that we have to be concerened about when it comes to privacy, but these Event Data Recorders that are being put into cars can easily be considered too much.

They have good and bad sides. They can be used to find out the truth of what a car was doing at the moment of an accident. They can also be an invasion of privacy. I think that above all, unless and until they are made mandatory by law, Auto makers need to not only tell buyers that they’re there, but make the blasted things optional. The same goes for what I call “Automotive Spyware” devices like on-star. I would want the option to not only not subscribe to the service, but not even have the hardware in the car at all in the first place.

New rule: Car buyers must be told about ‘black boxes’
Rule will also require a uniform set of data be recorded, making it easier to use.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006; Posted: 8:46 a.m. EDT (12:46 GMT)
NEW YORK ( — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has passed a regulation requiring car makers to inform customers when their car has been equipped with an Event Data Recorder, the agency said Monday.

EDRs, similar to “black boxes” used in commercial airliners, record data about what a car is doing in the moments just before and after a crash. They do not record the voices of occupants but they do record things like speed, steering wheel movement, how hard the brakes are being pressed and the actual movement of the car itself.

About 64 percent of model year 2005 cars were equipped with EDRs, according to NHTSA. Some manufacturers already include information about the EDR in the owners manual, but not all, said Rae Tyson, a spokesman for NHTSA.

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