While some car manufacturers are voluntarily installing black boxes in their cars now, it seems that federal regulators are proposing that after September 2014, all automobiles sold in the US will have to come with a black box installed. The National Transportation Safety Agency is looking to hear from residents of the US by the 11th of February on this proposed plan. Obviously the installation of these black boxes are for the safety of drivers on the road so in the event of an accident or emergency, the relevant authorities will know what went wrong and whether it might be related to the manufacturing of the vehicle, the driver and etc.
The proposed black boxes will trigger for about 30 seconds when events such as sudden braking or acceleration occur, swerving or any other act that could lead to an accident. The data can then be downloaded either remotely or physically whereby it would be used “primarily for the purpose of post-crash assessment of vehicle safety system performance.” While this sounds perfectly reasonable, there are privacy advocates who are worried about the data being collected and are asking the data to be anonymized to prevent the selling of it to third parties, such as insurance companies who might use it for risk evaluation.